The Detroit Lions are the only team in the NFL without a win so far this season, but head coach Jim Caldwell refuses to let things get out of hand, and wants his players to forget about the illegal play K.J. Wright made in order to seal the win for the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.
Illegal, yes. Cheating? Hardly anyone knew that batting the ball in the endzone to a touchback results in giving the ball back to the offense that fumbled the ball on the spot where it was fumbled (the goal line in this case). Obviously, the referee who was a few yards away with a clear line of sight should know the rule book. He either didn’t know about the rule or somehow managed to miss the intent in Wright’s action, which in both cases means he shouldn’t be out there doing this job.
Now, you can take that situation and drag it out through the week with your players more focused in on that particular play than the opposition that we have to face in just a few days in a very, very good Arizona team. Or you can act ‘woe is me’ and ‘bad call’ and ‘that went against us’ and look at all those kinds of things and that can distract you, you’ll get your ears kicked in come Sunday afternoon. We don’t plan to let that happen. … You’ll know, when you talk to them, I’m going to tell them not to talk about it, just so you understand that. Because of the fact that we can’t be hanging on something that happened a night ago that we can do nothing about. There’s nothing we can do about it.
Caldwell and his players were on the losing end of some controversial calls in the playoffs last season, losing to the Dallas Cowboys although they got their fair share of help in that game which everyone seems to forget. In any case, that was the end of the season and they had the privilege to rant about getting screwed by the officials for as long as they wanted. A team going 0-4 and still hoping to make something out of this season doesn’t have that luxury.
Caldwell can’t allow things to fall apart for him and his players, not now, not yet. The Lions haven’t been playing that badly to deserve being 0-4 when you compare them to weaker teams who are 1-3 or even 2-2 but a winless record is what it is. And forgetting about their own personal responsibilities to being dead last in the NFC North, even behind the Chicago Bears, is a recipe for disaster, on a franchise that had an awful season after making the playoffs the last time as well.