Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew talked to a lot of people during his coaching search.
But the unsolicited call he took from Peyton Manning helped convince him that Jim Caldwell was the right guy.
According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Mayhew almost didn’t pick up the call because he didn’t recognize the number, but did, and got a testimonial about how much Caldwell can help.
Now, that teaching power will be turned toward Matthew Stafford, in hopes of eliminating the mistakes that helped torpedo this season.
“He’s going to be very hands-on,” Mayhew said. “He’s going to have a quarterback coach trained on the things that he wants done, and he’s still going to be very hands-on even though he’s the head coach in terms of developing Matthew. And that’s one thing that we talked about in the interview that really impressed me about him and one thing that I was excited about was that he’s not going to delegate that to somebody and step back and say, ‘I’m the head coach, I’m the overseer.’ ”
In preparation for his interview, Caldwell watched all of Stafford’s throws from last season, and met with his new quarterback during his interview with Lions officials.
“I’ve got to look at him further, I’ve got to dig down a little bit deeper, I’ve got to get a real good sense of things,” Caldwell said. “But for the most part, here’s what we know: We do have a set of parameters which we use in terms of teaching and coaching quarterbacks that we know works and I’m anxious and excited about giving him an opportunity to kind of work within those parameters and I think you’re going to see improvement from the onset.
“He’s a willing guy, he’s capable, he has an immense amount of talent and we’ve just got to bring that to the forefront.”
If that teaching was good enough for Manning, it ought to be good enough for Stafford.