When Jim Caldwell was the head coach of the Colts, we learned that he was not a particularly animated coach on the sideline.
That’s a big contrast from Jim Schwarz, the man that Caldwell replaced as the Lions’ head coach this offseason, and it isn’t the only contrast that Lions players have seen in their brief time working with Caldwell. Linebacker DeAndre Levy said that he and his teammates are responding well to a coach who “talks to everybody like men and shoots you straight” and center Dominic Raiola called it a “calming” effect that allows everyone to focus on doing their job.
None of the players made explicit references to the difference from the way Schwartz did things, letting the implication speak for itself. Caldwell didn’t go that route either, but it’s not hard to see where the line is drawn when he explained that he wants his methods to send a message to the players that the game is about them and not about the coach.
“One of the things I’m sure they’re referring to that I mentioned is we treat them like men because of the fact that we anticipate that they’ll bear responsibility and accountability,” Caldwell said, via the Detroit News. “It doesn’t take me standing out there in the middle of the field screaming and yelling, acting like it’s all about me. It’s about them and what they do, and we put the onus on them.”
A lack of discipline hurt the Lions on and off the field during the Schwartz era and the team’s collapse down the stretch last season didn’t speak well of anything going on with the team. That makes a move in the opposite direction a predictable and natural reaction, although it won’t guarantee better results all by itself.