Playoffs!? Lions’ Caldwell says he never looks ahead

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
Jim Caldwell

Allen Park – After the Detroit Lions limped out of Chicago and started the season 1-3, their playoff chances seemed dreary.

But after bouncing back with consecutive wins over the Eagles and Rams, the Lions enter a tough three-game stretch against above .500 teams – Washington, Texans and Vikings – that could have serious playoff implications.

Just don’t expect Lions coach Jim Caldwell to be looking that far ahead.

“Never. Next question,” Caldwell said when asked when he starts talking playoff scenarios with his team. “We don't focus on anything but the next game. That's all we talk about, that's all we look at, that's all we're concerned about.”

Caldwell said he’s always had that mindset since he was a running back in pee wee football back in the early 1960s.

"You (media) don't probably understand. What I'm telling you is an actual fact,” Caldwell said. “There was a number of years where I didn't even worry about looking at the schedule. I looked at one game and that was it.

“And I still believe in that because I think the minute you start looking around the corner and all those kinds of things, first of all it's nonsense to be talking about it. You (media) can talk about it. It's your business. That's what you have to do. It's not part of our vocabulary. It's not part of our focus."

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Caldwell said his players share that same type of one-game focus because they “understand how hard it is, how tough it is.”

"We haven't done anything. We're still trying to survive,” Caldwell said. “We're fighting and scratching. We're trying to make it through practice half the time, let alone worrying about looking that far down the road.

“We got to find a way to keep getting better against these teams we're facing. We're facing a (Washington) team that has a four-game winning streak, that's playing awfully well right and we're talking about something else other than that? We don't do that. I know that's probably what you (media) do, but we never do it."