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'The time is now,' says Detroit Lions' new head coach

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell (center), flanked by Lions GM Martin Mayhew and Team President Tom Lewand

The Detroit Lions introduced the team's new head coach today.

Jim Caldwell comes to the Lions after being part of two Super Bowl-winning teams. He also led the Indianapolis Colts to the Super Bowl in 2010, only to lose to the New Orleans Saints.

Caldwell says he’s already talked with Lions players about winning a National Football League championship.

"They believe and I believe the time is now,” says Caldwell. “Not two years or three years from now, down the road somewhere, but right in here … right now.”

Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand did something unusual during the Caldwell news conference.  He talked about another candidate who chose not to pursue the Lions’ head coaching job.

Lewand said two candidates met the profile the franchise’s front office set out:  Ken Whisenhunt and Jim Caldwell. Whisenhunt opted to take the head coaching job with the Tennessee Titans. 

But despite that, Lewand insists Jim Caldwell is the man they wanted.

“Anyone who thinks we settled for Jim Caldwell doesn’t know Jim Caldwell,” Lewand told reporters. 

Caldwell takes over a football team that analysts say has a lot of talent, but ended this past season losing six of its last seven games and missing the playoffs.

The Lions won their last NFL championship in 1957.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.