(DETROIT) - Despite a heartbreaking loss on a botched extra point play, Lions head coach Steve Mariucci was surprisingly upbeat and optimistic that the Lions record "would flip" from their current 5-9 to 9-5 in the near future, perhaps as early as next year.
Mariucci said the effort the Lions put forth would pay dividends in, not just more close losses, but eventually close wins.
"The intangible things that you saw today are going to carry this team forward," promised Mariucci. You'll see it more this year and you'll continue to see it as we go forward into the future."
Mariucci said that Joey Harrington was beginning to understand how to play successfully in the NFL. He pointed out that Harrington could not continue to check down on every pass play that he needed to try to make plays.
"Joey's got to learn to do more often is to throw the ball down the field" said Mariucci. "[He has to] trust his arm, trust his decision making, trust his receivers, trust that he can fit it in there and that's a process. You've got to do it in practice and experiment a little bit and knowing 'hey, I can make that deep throw or that seam throw or that deep route and then do it more often in the games.'"
Mariucci also pointed to some of the younger players who got on the field against the Vikings and who are part of the future.
"We want to win the next game. We want to beat the Bears and go into Tennessee feeling like we can win that one, OK? That's our ambition, that's our mindset. Now there are a couple of guys - all of our "freshmen" and "sophomores" for the most part, that are available are playing. We played Terrence Holt more today, we played Victor Rogers a little bit today. There's nobody else to go to, they're all playing and that's good."
Mariucci: Lions Record Will "Flip" Next Season
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