"As you see, I'm alive and well," Caldwell said in a long opening statement during his Monday news conference. "And there's only been one man that, I think, that has walked and risen from the dead, and I'm certainly not him. So we do think that without question that we do have a lot of work ahead of us, but I think our guys are willing and focused."
Despite a 1-7 start this year, the Lions still plan to try to win as many games as possible. Winning Sunday in Green Bay for the first time since 1991 surely won't be easy, but perhaps the bye provided them time to correct some of the many mistakes that plagued them in the first half of the season.
But, Caldwell and his staff have to find a way to keep the players focused after owner and chairwoman Martha Firestone Ford fired Mayhew and club president Tom Lewand.
"All of our focus is on Green Bay," defensive end Darryl Tapp said. "It's unfortunate. It's a performance-based business, and when you don't produce on the field and win games, things change. She put her foot down, but that goes with the nature of the beast."
Caldwell explained that the Lions face both a crisis and opportunity. Of course, the Lions rank 25th in offense and 31st in points per game as well as 26th in defense and 32nd in points allowed per game.
"I see the greatness within this team, and it's a matter of getting there," Caldwell said.
The players remain confident, too, despite the poor start.
"I have faith," Caldwell said. "I've been through it before; I know the look in terms of guys' eyes. In terms of players, I had a chance to meet with the leadership council; we have the right kind of guys. We just have to play better."
--The Lions strongly refuted an NFL Network report that questioned quarterback Matthew Stafford's football intelligence.
"How does hogwash sound?" Caldwell said. "It takes you about two seconds to understand and know that he is a very, very bright guy with an immense amount of talent. The intelligence of our quarterback should not be questioned."
The report indicated Stafford struggled to handle everything offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who was fired after Week 7, wanted him to do. Caldwell and backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky said they didn't sense any frustration between Stafford and Lombardi.
"He's a, like, pocket nerd," Orlovsky said of Stafford. "He's super smart. ... It's not that I think he's smart; I know he's smart."
--Lions owner and chairwoman Martha Firestone Ford addressed the players at the beginning of the team meeting Monday.
"It was good that she approached the team to say how she felt," running back Joique Bell said. "I think the team got her message, and we're going to do everything in our power to make sure we bring pride back to this team, make sure we win some games and make this organization a winning organization. And that's all she wants."
Ford fired Lewand and Mayhew last Thursday, and Monday's address was the longest she's given to the players as a group since taking over the team after her husband, William Clay Ford Sr., died in March 2014.
"It was good having that presence in the room," tight end Brandon Pettigrew said. "Everybody definitely has a ton of respect for the Ford family, and they want to win like everyone else. Her point is we're all in this together, and we're going to do our best to try to get this win."
Defensive tackle C. J. Wilson was claimed off waivers from the Oakland Raiders and defensive tackle Andre Fluellen (hip) went on injured reserve.