ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Welcome to this week’s Detroit Lions mailbag, where we take one question you ask during the week and answer it here.
You can ask a question for the mailbag by using the hashtag #LionsMailbag on Twitter, emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reaching out on Facebook. Also, there is a chance I’ll answer your question during an upcoming podcast.
Now, on to this week’s question:
Eddie writes: Just curious, how frustrating is it that every time you have a legitimate question that needs to be answered Jim Caldwell just says "We'll see." Because it drives me insane.
Michael Rothstein: Eddie, it’s an interesting question and one I’ve been getting from fans more and more often as the season has worn on and the Lions are once again off to a rough start. Lions coach Jim Caldwell continues to answer "we’ll see" on a variety of topics, then declines to answer injury questions pretty much routinely.
Is it frustrating? Sure, a little bit, but I understand it. I’ve always subscribed to this philosophy when it comes to interviewing people -- particularly coaches and professional players. It’s also something I will tell players from time-to-time in conversations we have. As a reporter, I can ask whatever question I want. As someone answering the question, it’s your right to decide whether or not you want to answer said question.
So that’s pretty much how I go about things. That said, and I addressed this this week on the podcast linked above, I think there are some times when transparency would help Caldwell -- and his players -- when fans are frustrated. DeAndre Levy is a perfect example.
Caldwell clearly knows his policies are being discussed publicly, both through the questions we ask and something he said during Friday’s news conference when he was asked about tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who he said is "coming along."
"Let me tell you just a couple things, and I think oftentimes you guys may get a little tired of me, but you know I’m pretty consistent across the board," Caldwell said. "I’ve been doing the same thing with talking about injuries and things if you check back to my head coaching days, I don’t care when you check, it’s been exactly the same.
"The reason being is because of the fact No. 1, I am not qualified to talk about every single aspect of a medical situation, that’s No. 1. No. 2, I think oftentimes what you guys need [and] what we need, it’s incongruent. They don’t work hand in hand. Our giving out information gives our opponents information, and people that we’re playing against, that we sometimes care not to share. Your job is to get as much as you possibly can and I understand that fully.
"So, I do understand that there’s a little bit of a disconnect there, but you also should understand that I’m not going to change in that regard. I know some of you get offended once in a while, but to those, I certainly hope you get over it rather quickly. That’s kind of the way I’ve always done it, and continue to do so."