The Detroit Lions officially hired a head coach today — no, not Ken Whisenhunt, Jim Caldwell.
The Lions missed out on their supposed target Whisenhunt yesterday, as the Tennessee Titans snagged the goods. Caldwell was high on Detroit’s list, having an impressive interview with great preparation. Caldwell watched every pass Stafford attempted in the 2013 season, even conversed with Stafford on plans to enhance his play. He’s had head coaching experience before in Indianapolis, which is something Detroit desired.
Caldwell is admired by his peers for his discipline, leadership, and ability to develop quarterbacks. Peyton Manning streams kind words of Caldwell, praising him as a professional. The Ravens were paining on offense in 2012 until Caldwell was promoted to offensive coordinator. Joe Flacco played marvelously when Caldwell took over, leading Baltimore to a Super Bowl victory. Caldwell also took the Colts to a Super Bowl while he was their head coach.
There are positives that Caldwell radiates, but there’s also negatives. Caldwell is knocked for the Colts falling to 2-14 when Manning went down. Many criticize his clock-management skills, having blown time-outs at critical times. It’s speculated that Caldwell was on his way out of Baltimore after this season, in which Baltimore had an atrocious offense. Can all of this really be knocks on Caldwell, deeming him an illegitimate head coach? Who can win without Manning, let alone their starting quarterback out? The Denver Broncos with Manning possessed a better team in 2012 than any Caldwell had with the Colts, yet they didn’t make a Super Bowl while Caldwell did. The Colts had an all-around mediocre team, still Caldwell worked magic. He had no respectable back-ups to Manning. The Ravens let go of some offensive players like Anquan Boldin, while Ray Rice had a down-season; it’s not all Caldwell’s fault.
Tony Dungy spoke volumes of Caldwell to Detroit, staking his belief and confidence in him. Dungy may be a friend of Caldwell’s, but he’s worked alongside him, having insight on the type of football person he is.
Just because Caldwell’s made some mistakes doesn’t mean he’s a failure; he could’ve learned from his mistrials to become more well-rounded. He’s worked on winning staffs under Dungy and Ravens’ John Harbaugh, contributing to their success.
Caldwell’s staff members are speculated to be Eagles’ QB coach Bill Lazor, who worked wonders with Nick Foles, for offensive coordinator, and Ravens’ secondary coach Teryl Austin, as defensive coordinator. It’s said that Austin would run a 4-3 defense, important to Detroit and their personnel.
Caldwell has experience, he should assemble a nice staff. There’s much talent on Detroit; it doesn’t require a schematic genius to convert this talent-packed team into winners. If Caldwell can be disciplined, fix Stafford, command respect, and have the right staff, he’ll be just fine.