As Lions coach Jim Caldwell enters the final year of his contract with no commitment beyond 2017, tight end Eric Ebron has made a strong public pitch for the team to keep Caldwell around, indefinitely.
“We try to do everything we can for that guy because as an organization and as a team, who play for him, we love him,” Ebron told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday. “That’s definitely our coach. Hot seat, whatever, we want to play for him because we want to keep him there forever, because that’s just what kind of guy he is.”
Caldwell took the team to the playoffs in 2016, the first season under new G.M. Bob Quinn. It’s still not clear what Quinn, who waited several weeks to decide to keep Caldwell after getting the job, thinks of Caldwell’s long-term prospects.
Most General Managers have their own short list of preferred coaches in mind. For the Lions, who (assuming a contract extension) will be able to offer the ability to work with quarterback Matthew Stafford, Quinn may see a chance to upgrade to a guy like Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels or some other A-list candidate who could take the team to the proverbial (and, for the Lions, perennially elusive) next level.
Caldwell has led the Lions to a 27-21 record in three seasons, with a pair of playoff appearances. The Lions haven’t won a postseason game since 1991.