Analysts said that Ken Whisenhunt would be in demand like the newest pair of shoes, and he was.
The Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, and Tennessee titans all had interest in Whisenhunt. Many thought he and Detroit would fit like a pennant to a necklace. It seemed like Whisenhunt was going to be hired instantly and straight to the Lions. He was hired instantly, just not to Detroit.
Yes, the Titans were able to make the marriage happen, leaving Detroit in the dust with plan B (if they have one). It was said that Detroit prepared a private plane to retrieve Whisenhunt early this morning, but he chose to postpone it. Later, the news broke that Tennessee had gotten the gold.
Why didn’t Detroit obtain Whisenhunt? Isn’t Detroit the most attractive job out there, especially compared to Tennessee? Doesn’t Detroit possess a franchise quarterback in Matthew Stafford? Isn’t there immense star-power with Ndamukong Suh, Calvin Johnson, and Reggie Bush?
A major speculation is issues with scheming. Whisenhunt is believed to desire a 3-4 defense, which is a problem for Detroit due to their defensive personnel. Credit the Lions here. If this is true, they’ve merited respect. Detroit clearly doesn’t contain the defensive players to run a successful 3-4 defense, hiring Whisenhunt and going along with his philosophies for something they do not believe in — for good reason — was the right move.
Losing Whisenhunt isn’t all that bad. He’s known to be stubborn with his philosophies — a terrible trait of Jim Schwartz — and suffered from late-season collapses with Arizona. He didn’t finish with a winning season after Kurt Warner retired, failing to find a replacement.
The Lions are showing that they have set ideas and goals for this team; credit’s owed to them for not breaking down upon someone’s wishes if they don’t agree. Detroit’s standing firm as they should.
This isn’t necessarily the end of the world for Detroit; another candidate can do wonders here: Jim Caldwell.
Caldwell has head coaching experience, taken a team to a Super Bowl, and is known to be quarterback savvy. Peyton Manning, arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, sings praise of Caldwell, crediting him for much of his success. Manning in his younger years was under the supervision of Caldwell, experiencing drastic improvements to his game. Caldwell also took a struggling Ravens offense that was on the brink of failure in 2012 and turned it into championship material.
Many discredit Caldwell as a head coach because Manning was his quarterback — though Manning credits Caldwell for much of his success. It’s not like Manning has won a Super Bowl every year of his career. The 2012 Denver Broncos with Manning possessed more pieces than any Caldwell was given in Indianapolis through his tenure and didn’t go to a Super Bowl; give him credit for what he’s done. A team that makes a Super Bowl is under good coaching. Caldwell finished 2-14 his last season with the Colts, but that was with Manning out and no legitimate back-up quarterback, that’s not his fault.
Caldwell’s been a part of three Super Bowl staffs, one being his own. He’s had great success helping quarterbacks like Manning and Joe Flacco develop their game. He’s respected by his past and present peers. His last season with the Colts was abysmal, but he had no help with personnel or at the quarterback position. Caldwell has the experience to assemble a credible staff along with developing a struggling quarterback like Stafford. Detroit still has the chance to be something special; Caldwell can be the answer.