For many NFL teams that change head coaches, the ensuing season is greeted with low expectations. There's a honeymoon period of sorts as the team adapts to its new head coach and begins the rebuilding process all over again. There are certainly instances where those low expectations are exceeded in year one, but it often takes time for the new head coach's vision to become a reality.
For the Detroit Lions, there's certainly no honeymoon period for new head coach Jim Caldwell. This isn't a situation where a rebuilding process is taking place, and it's certainly not a situation where the new head coach will have a year or two to get things moving in the right direction. The Lions want to win now, and team president Tom Lewand made that quite clear on Monday night. From MLive:
"It's a year of let's go right now," Lewand said Monday night while appearing with WDIV's Bernie Smilovitz in the TAP restaurant at the MGM casino in Detroit. "You heard Jim say it during his introductory press conference, we hear it from our players.
"There's no five-year plans here."
In essence, it's playoffs or bust for Caldwell's first season as head coach of the Lions. The pieces are in place for this team to return to the playoffs, and you could even argue that the pieces are in place for this team to make a postseason run. Those expectations may seem a bit high for a team that went a combined 11-21 over the last two seasons, but the fans, players, coaches and especially the owners all have a win-now attitude for 2014.