1. FAITH IN THEIR PLAN
"Probably the most difficult thing to do in the NFL is to stick to a plan when you’re not winning," Schwartz said Monday. "Too many times, people haven’t accomplished what they want to accomplish because they’ve turned back at the first sign of storm. Or the first cloud’s on the horizon; ‘Hey, let’s turn around and go back.’"
I think this is really relevant to the 2010 Lions. Schwartz and Mayhew did not panic when the team was 2 and 10 because they saw how their team played and knew the guys they were collecting and training were very close to getting over the hump. Since then, 14 and 5.
"There’s a lot of fool’s gold in the NFL," Schwartz said. "There are a lot of teams that win and they’re really not on the right track. Sometimes you put too much into just getting the win."
2. FAITH IN THEIR QB
"We had a good group of good, young players, we’d put some good veterans around them and we had a lot of confidence in the quarterback." he said. " It was hard for other people to have confidence in the quarterback because they didn’t see him enough. We saw him every day. "We knew how he stacked up against other guys, we knew what he could do for this team, we knew that his injuries weren’t going to be injuries that set him back in the future and it was that confidence in knowing that you have ‘that guy’ that probably had as much to do with that as anything else."
The patience and faith that they had in what Stafford could do in the NFL when healthy was obvious then, even though a lot of Lions fans did not share that commitment. Their faith was rewarded this year and especially this last Saturday. Schwartz emphasized that point with the following comment:
"We've got a good quarterback, and we put it on him," Schwartz said. "I'm sorry for all the people that want us to run the ball 40 times a game, but we're going to put the ball in No. 9's hands and he's going to make plays for us like he did today."
Now, let's be clear. The journey is far from over. The Lions have just cleared another of the many hurdles that have been placed in front of them, and there will no doubt be more disappointment ahead, but I think that some day, in the not too distant future, this franchise will reach the goal that has eluded us for over fifty years thanks to the leadership of Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz.
NOTE: I was inspired by and borrowed heavily from an article by Tim Twentyman of Detroitlions.com. A great read that you should definitely take the time to check out