Lions have added a lot of people with Super Bowl experience in recent years

Ronald Martinez

The Detroit Lions have never been to a Super Bowl, but they have added a lot of people with Super Bowl experience in recent years.

Only four NFL teams have never made a Super Bowl appearance: the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Detroit Lions. The Lions haven't even really come all that close. They did advance to the NFC Championship Game following their outstanding 12-4 season in 1991, but they were blown out by the Washington Redskins. Their only playoff win since 1957 came in that season, so success in the postseason has been a rarity for them.

Heading into the 2014 season, the Lions are hoping to change their dismal playoff record. Getting back to the postseason is obviously a necessary first step, but the ultimate goal -- as it should be every year -- is to contend for a trip to the Super Bowl. The Lions might seem a long way away from that, but a lot of the people they have added in the last couple years have been a part of recent Super Bowls. Take a look:

Super Bowl XLVIII (2014) - Seahawks 43, Broncos 8
  • Golden Tate (wide receiver for SEA, now wide receiver for DET)
  • Jim Bob Cooter (offensive assistant for DEN, now quarterbacks coach for DET)
Super Bowl XLVII (2013) - Ravens 34, 49ers 31
  • James Ihedigbo (safety for BAL, now safety for DET)
  • Jim Caldwell (offensive coordinator for BAL, now head coach for DET)
  • Teryl Austin (secondary coach for BAL, now defensive coordinator for DET)
Super Bowl XLVI (2012) - Giants 21, Patriots 17
  • James Ihedigbo (safety for NE, now safety for DET)
Super Bowl XLIV (2010) - Saints 31, Colts 17
  • Reggie Bush (running back for NO, now running back for DET)
  • Joe Lombardi (quarterbacks coach for NO, now offensive coordinator for DET)
  • Tony Oden (assistant secondary coach for NO, now cornerbacks coach for DET)
  • Jim Caldwell (head coach for IND, now head coach for DET)
  • Alan Williams (defensive backs coach for IND, now safeties coach for DET)
  • Jim Bob Cooter (staff assistant to the offense for IND, now quarterbacks coach for DET)
Super Bowl XLIII (2009) - Steelers 27, Cardinals 23
  • Teryl Austin (defensive backs coach for ARI, now defensive coordinator for DET)
  • Matt Raich (defensive assistant for ARI, now defensive quality control coach for DET)
Super Bowl XLII (2008) - Giants 17, Patriots 14
  • Bill Sheridan (linebackers coach for NYG, now linebackers coach for DET)
Super Bowl XLI (2007) - Colts 29, Bears 17
  • Jim Caldwell (quarterbacks coach/assistant head coach for IND, now head coach for DET)
  • Alan Williams (defensive backs coach for Indianapolis, now safeties coach for DET)
Super Bowl XL (2006) - Steelers 21, Seahawks 10
  • Teryl Austin (defensive backs coach for SEA, now defensive coordinator for DET)

(Note: The Lions don't have any current connections to the 2011 Super Bowl, which saw the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. One other note: If you want to go back even further, defensive line coach Jim Washburn was on the coaching staff for the 1999 Tennessee Titans, which lost to the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV.)

As you can see, the Lions have brought in a lot of people with Super Bowl experience. Granted, this doesn't mean the Lions will suddenly transform into a team that consistently challenges for championships or even a spot in the playoffs. However, it's certainly a plus to have so many different guys who have had success deep into the playoffs. There's no guarantee that they will be able to replicate that kind of success in Detroit, but from the coaching staff to the roster, the Lions have a lot of guys who have seen firsthand just what it takes to make it to the Super Bowl.

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