By: Will Burchfield

After the Lions confirmed on Wednesday morning that Jim Caldwell will return in 2017 for the final season of his four-year contract, the head coach took to the podium to express his gratitude.

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“I want to say I’m appreciative, thankful,” Caldwell said. “I expressed my gratitude to Bob (Quinn), Mrs. Ford and the Ford family, and Rod Wood for their support.

“Now, I have to also say I want to apologize to you because I’m not going to go into anything other than what I just stated. Not going to talk about when discussions happened if there were discussions, not going to talk about status of our staff or whatever that might be. Because like I said yesterday, the focus is still about this team, it’s about getting our guys ready.

“Our guys, I think all year long, have been absolutely excellent at focusing in on what they have to get done, and the next team, next game moving forward, and we want to keep that focus as such. So we’re not certainly going to add to that and complicate it any more than that.”

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Caldwell declined to say whether or not he had received a contract extension. His current deal expires at the end of next season. He is 27-21 through three seasons, although just 16-16 over the past two.

Asked why he believes it would be a distraction to talk about his job, Caldwell replied, “It doesn’t matter. It’s all about the team.”

That was in keeping with his stance on Tuesday when Caldwell similarly deflected questions about his future.

“You know what, it’s not about me. I’m more interested in this team and that focus,” he said. “Our business is always skepticism and those kinds of things. It’s a challenging business, that’s what makes it fun. It’s not for the faint of heart. You better be willing to take on challenges and understand that you’re expected to win.”

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The Lions travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks on Saturday in the first round the playoffs.