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Caldwell refuses to talk about his future with the Lions

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ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) The Detroit Lions have won five of their last seven games, potentially giving coach Jim Caldwell a chance to keep his job.

Not that he's interested in talking about his future.

''I don't worry about that,'' he said Monday. ''That's not my concern. My concern is this ballgame coming up.''

The Lions (6-9) will have one more chance to win this season when it ends for them Sunday at Chicago (6-9) a year after earning 11 victories and making it to the playoffs in Caldwell's debut season.

Detroit dropped its first five games this year and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi lost his job after a 1-6 start. A week later, Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford made the stunning move of firing team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew.

Caldwell was allowed to finish the season, and has made the most of the opportunity.

The Lions beat San Francisco 32-17 Sunday for their second straight win, a victory that guarantees Caldwell will have a winning record as their coach regardless of the outcome against the Bears.

Even though it could be his last game as Detroit's coach, Caldwell insisted that that possibility won't cross his mind.

''I approach it just like I do any other day that I've coached in my life, 1978, when I first started coaching,'' he said. ''Any day could be my last day, so it's no different for me.''

Caldwell's climb began nearly 30 years ago as a graduate assistant coach at Iowa, where he was a four-year starter in the secondary. He went on to be an assistant at a handful of colleges before being hired to be Wake Forest's coach. Caldwell started working in the league as an assistant for Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay and Indianapolis, which gave him his first shot to lead a team in the league.

Caldwell was 26-22 over three regular seasons with the Colts as they reached the Super Bowl, lost a wild-card game after a 10-win season and dropped 14 games in 2011 as Peyton Manning missed the season because of neck surgery.

The Colts fired him and he landed in Baltimore, starting off as a quarterbacks coach and being promoted to offensive coordinator when the Ravens won the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, 2013.

Detroit hired him about a year later and at least some of his players hope he doesn't get fired as soon as next week.

''I want him back,'' defensive end Darryl Tapp said. ''We kept following this man when we were 1-7. No one tanked and no one pointed fingers because of him. I've been a part of situations, unfortunately, where you have a start like that and the coach loses control and players start having personal agendas. That hasn't happened here because he has done a great job of getting everybody to buy in every week with his consistency. He and his staff deserve to be back.''



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