I began my conversation with Lions President Tom Lewand yesterday just hoping to get an understanding for how Detroit has turned around its once-woeful franchise. I left with a franchise-wide view on why this string of success may continue.
Lewand and I spoke for a while, with him mixing in anecdotes about the two main things that have happened to spring the Lions. One is how decisions have been made without bowing to public pressure. The other is that those in power — including coach Jim Schwartz — are not satisfied. They won’t be satisfied with just making the Wild Card game.
As Lewand told me, “We haven’t done anything yet. We got a Wild Card game. And I understand that there’s a 12-year gap…. But that’s not where we want to go.” Nope, there is a lot more they hope to accomplish.
I loved the story Lewand told of Schwartz’s reaction to the post-game Gatorade bath. No, Schwartz wasn’t amped. The way Lewand recounted it, “The first words out of (Schwartz’s) mouth were, ‘We have to get past the point where we’re dumping Gatorade on my head because we made the Wild Card.’ ” Yup.