Backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky understands why he might not receive the warmest welcome in his return to the Lions after being a part of the 0-16 season in 2008.

But when he became a free agent this offseason after five years away from Detroit, Orlovsky put the Lions near the top of his wish list because he’s noticed a change in culture and holds coach Jim Caldwell in the highest regard.

“My goal is just to come in, do my job and be part of the team, but I get the fears maybe with fans,” he said Monday after the first day of optional workouts. “The organization knows what they’re doing and I know I’m a good player, and I certainly hope to just be part of changing some of that past, whether it’s directly or indirectly.”

Orlovsky, who signed a one-year deal worth the veteran minimum last week, played under Caldwell in 2011 with the Indianapolis Colts, and in the final game that season, he saw the kind of man Caldwell is.

After playing through an ankle injury in Jacksonville, Orlovsky said Caldwell helped him find a car so he could go to the airport and fly back to Philadelphia to be with his wife, who gave birth to triplet boys the previous week.

“The last thing he said to me was, ‘I appreciate you,’” Orlovsky said.

Three weeks later, Orlovsky received a call from Caldwell, and he expected the coach to want to talk about football. Instead, Caldwell asked how his wife and children were doing.

“Not in any way knocking people I have played for, he’s probably one of the best — if not the best — man I’ve ever worked for and played for,” Orlovsky said of Caldwell.

Orlovsky was quick to note that Caldwell is a good football coach, too, because he knows as well as anybody the NFL is a results-based industry.