Jim Caldwell comments on the Detroit Lions trip to London, England


The Detroit Lions have officially left for London, England. As of Monday evening the team boarded a jet and left for Europe in preparation for the teams match-up with the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

Coach Caldwell spoke about the teams “business trip” and  answered related questions during the weekly Detroit Lions press conference on Monday.

Via Detroit Lions beat writer, Tim Twentyman:

"“It’s an opportunity for us to play a game in a different part of the world and have them experience some of the things that our fans have an opportunity to experience,” Caldwell said. “But for us, it’s a business trip, it’s not a vacation. Most of us that are working are coaches and players, won’t have an opportunity to do the things that tourists normally do. “Our business is to go over there and get ready to play certainly a hungry Atlanta team in a game that means a lot to us. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”"

Why go to London so early in the week?

"“We’re going to try to keep it as much like a normal week as we possibly can. Our schedule’s the same in terms of when we practice, so for coaches it’s a pretty steady work week.” – Coach Caldwell"

When the game kicks off at Wembley Stadium, it will be 1:30 p.m. in London England. Back here in Detroit it will be bright and early, as in 9:30 a.m./ET, a five hour time difference. By getting the team to London early in the week, players and coaches will have time to get acclimated with the time change and will also let them become familiar with unfamiliar practice facilities.

When coach Caldwell was asked about the possibility of the team seeing the sights, he had this to say:

"“Like I tell them, if you’re really looking for a real good time and you want to take a real, true tour of the city in Europe, win a lot more football games, you’ll have a little extra money in your pocket and you’ll be able to do so,” Caldwell said."

Who will go to London?

As expected, everyone made the trip over seas, even members of the practice squad and of course, Calvin Johnson.

Johnson missed the last two games while recovering from a high ankle sprain. During his absence the Detroit Lions have managed victories in both contests.

"“We’re trying to make it as normal as we possibly can,” Caldwell said. “It would be a doubly difficult for us to go over and just practice against the first and second team without having our practice squad guys which make a tremendous difference for us.“You add the travel along with that kind of wear and tear on the body that’s been inordinate for any other week would put you at a real disadvantage in that regard. So yeah, our practice squad guys go and they’ll help us.”"

More from Detroit Lions

While the Lions have faired well in Megatron’s absence, the team is certainly eager to have him back, and healthy nonetheless. Golden Tate, who has managed to become quarterback Matthew Stafford’s No. 1 wide receiver, is putting up career numbers this season.

Last week during the Detroit Lions late-game rally vs. the New Orleans Saints, Tate accumulated 10 catches for 154 yards and one touchdown.

When Johnson returns at 100 percent, the team will have a new dynamic on offense.

Could Calvin Johnson make an early return against the Falcons in England?

Stay logged into Detroit Jock City for all your late-breaking Detroit Lions news as Sunday’s game at Wembley Stadium approaches.