After a 3-13 disappointment last season, you can imagine that it would be hard to stay positive when looking ahead to 2007. For Rod Marinelli, however, that isn't too tough. He is bringing large expectations into the coming season and is confident in the team he has assembled.
"I just believe in this team -- a lot. I'm going to feel better and better every day we're here. There are going to be bumps in the road. So be it. Nothing changes. This is going to be a very good team."
"It's just me. It's what I see. I'm out here, I look, I see it, and I believe it. I'm not going to undersell it. I'm going to overrate those men, because that's expectations. I've got great expectations for this team. I like the way they're working. You're seeing what I'm seeing. It's fast and explosive."
"As soon as something happens, it's, `Oh, God. Here it goes again,' " Marinelli said. "No. We've just got to keep going, keep believing, keep pushing straight ahead, believe, having confidence, be energized with it, look forward to this process."
I tried to be optimistic to an extent last summer when predicting what the win-loss total would be for 2006. I was dead wrong and in turn will be looking at things differently going into this coming season. Maybe that's a good thing. If I have no expectations, than anything relatively good will be great. Right?
Every Lions fan out there just wants to get better. We've seen it start to go in that direction but end up back at square one. Now, the coach has the right mindset and is focused on getting better. That's no guarantee that it will translate that way onto the field, but at least it isn't someone who is hoping to win.
All I can say is that baby steps have to be taken. The first is getting a team together that has the potential to win. I'd say that has been done. Next, you have to play together as a team in a way that gets victories. That is the part missing from the Lions on a yearly basis. I'd say the win plateau most would hope for this season is close to .500. Whether or not that can be broken will left to be seen, but as I said, I'm not expecting it. I just hope the Lions can provide me with a pleasant surprise come season's end.