Lions Hire Jim Caldwell As Next Head Coach
By Allen Kim
After the Detroit Lions were spurned by Ken Whisenhunt after he chose to go to the Tennessee Titans, they moved quickly on their next candidate. The Lions have hired former Indianapolis Colts head coach and Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell as their next head coach, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Caldwell makes sense on a number of levels: he has some experience as a head coach in the NFL, a lot of experience as a quarterbacks coach, and he is known for discipline and fundamentals — two things the Lions lack. He was also able to lead two teams to the Super Bowl — one with the Colts as a head coach, and the other with the Ravens as an offensive coordinator — and his championship experience undoubtedly helped in landing him the job.
However, going against him is the abysmal season the Ravens had this season. While he played a key role in elevating Joe Flacco’s game during their Super Bowl run last season, Flacco regressed this year. Their offense was simply a mess all season, although he can’t be fully blamed for the limitations of the team’s offensive personnel.
He interviewed with the Lions earlier this month, and spent some time with Matthew Stafford watching film together. Being able to develop Stafford and take his game to the next level was widely seen as a key component in the front office’s hiring decision, which gave Caldwell a leg up over most of the remaining competition. The fact that Peyton Manning has put his full support behind his former coach also speaks volumes about his abilities.
He’ll be walking into a good situation in Detroit. The team is stacked with talent, and if they can put it all together, they’ll be a dangerous team for years to come.