DETROIT, Mich. -

Jim Schwartz is more confident then ever heading into the Lions' 2013 training camp.

Why? A 4-12 team last season doesn't seem to hold much promise for making a post-season run. But Schwartz said Thursday the dismal season in 2012, offseason transactions and the team's attitude moving foward fuels his excitement.

"We have reasons to be optimistic," Schwartz said at his press conference Thursday. "We have tangible reasons to be optimistic. Players we've got back from injury, players we've added, some of the lessons we've learned, I think we're a better club, better team, better individuals as a result of all that."

For Schwartz, the 2012 season is in the past but the lessons he learned as a result contributes to his present approach.

"I think we all learned a lot of lessons last year," Schwartz said. "The only way those are going to be beneficial for us is carrying those lessons over to this year."

After tasting the post-season in 2011, Schwartz considers the 4-12 record and eight straight losses in 2012 an eye-opening experience.

"I think it was humbling for me personally [and] I think it was humbling for the team."

The Lions open training camp on Friday, leading up to their first preseason game against the Jets on August 9th at Ford Field.