Report: Lions considering Jim Caldwell

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Add former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell to the list of names mentioned in connection with the Detroit Lions’ head coaching vacancy.

Caldwell, currently the Ravens’ offensive coordinator, is thought to be on the Lions’ list, according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

The pros for Caldwell in Detroit are easy to see. For starters, his experience as an assistant is with coaching quarterbacks and receivers, and coordinating pass-first offenses, and the Lions want a coach who can take Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson and turn them into the focal points of a high-scoring offense. There’s also the fact that Caldwell has been the head coach of a team that got to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, and a high-ranking assistant on Super Bowl-winning teams with both the Colts and the Ravens. He has experience with winning teams.

But the problem is that Caldwell hasn’t yet shown that he can be a successful head coach without a great quarterback already in place. When Caldwell had Peyton Manning in 2009 and 2010, he went 14-2 and 10-6. But when Caldwell lost Manning to a neck injury in 2011, his team collapsed to 2-14. The Lions don’t need a coach who can win with a fully formed franchise quarterback like Manning. The Lions need a coach who can take Stafford and turn him from what he is now (a talented but error-prone passer) into a franchise quarterback.

The Lions would love to find a coach who can make Stafford look like Manning. The question about Caldwell as a potential coach of the Lions is whether Manning became the quarterback he is because of Caldwell’s coaching, or whether Caldwell was just lucky enough to get hired by a team that had Peyton Manning.

87 responses to “Report: Lions considering Jim Caldwell

  1. Really… I mean he really did a great job in his first full year as the ratbirds OC… This league consistantly outsmarts itself. Average Joe gets hot for 7 or 8 games the Ratbirds win a SB and suddenly everyone forgets how EXTREMELY AVERAGE this guy is as a coach? San Fran OC Roman and Sea. OC should be at the top of the list IMO not a retread like Caldwell???

  2. Jim Caldwell and Tom Cable are the Lions candidates. Are Bobby Petrino, Mike Singletary, and David Shula unavailable? Do they poor people of Detroit deserve this?

  3. Lovie Smith seems to be the best option, as long as you pair him with a great offensive mind. He will turn that defense into something scary. They have the type of D line that is made for his scheme.

    Unfortunately, his rumored OC choice of Jeff Tedford leaves something to be desired.

  4. Tom Cable, Jim Caldwell, etc? This is underwhelming so far, Lions. They must be bargain hunting with the contract because they still have to pay Schwartz. Same old Lions, they will never learn.

  5. As you can tell, the Lions can’t really go after the big name candidates, because the job is really that bad. They have to get people who are desperate to be a head coach otherwise, not someone with options.

  6. As a Raven fan I think that would be a great hire fire Detroit. Then we could move forward and find an offensive coordinator who is creative and can light a fire under Joe Flacco. So please look no further Detroit. He’s you’re man!!!!

  7. Somebody needs to test the water in Lake Erie. Buffalo, Cleveland & Detroit all play like they’ve been drinking toxic chemicals.

  8. A complete knob.

    I dont think he’ll never live down that ridiculous time-out during the playoff game vs the Jets. That alone should deter anyone from hiring him as a head coach.

  9. Why does one assume that someone’s demeanor on tv is an indicator of whether or not they are a good coach? None of you commenting have any idea how Coach Caldwell is with the Xs and Os and if his players will play hard for him.

    And as for the Rooney Rule the NFL went 0-15 last year in hiring people of color for head coach and GM openings. One would think they need some kind of rule to open doors. When you see the constant recycling of failed white coaches that tells you they are still using the old affirmative action rule: it’s called the “old boys club.”

  10. The Lions are a good job. The owners are pretty patient and they have talent. I also think the division will turn around quickly as well. The Bears have a ton of talent on offense and the Vikings had a good draft.

  11. i dnt understand why every1 hates on jim caldwell… sure he had peyton manning but not every coach can take manning and a whole roster and come damn close to leading that team to a perfect season… when he was 14-2 every1 was all over his nuts? now every1s bashin him when 2011 happened… like dude said not even bill belichick could win with curtis painter under center

  12. Oh man this franchise doesn’t deserve you fans. Maybe you guys should finally consider abandoning ship. Not a sexy pick but they should really consider a guy like Jim Tomsula. He has HC experience, is very professional and disciplined and his players play their hearts out for him. I would hate to lose him but Detroit needs to play with discipline more than anything else. Norv Turner will likely be available too so there’s your OC/ stafford groomer. Ijs

  13. The Lions have no idea how to qualify a coach, so they are just going to hire anybody that has lots of bullet points on their resume and can talk a good game in the interview. All we have seen from this team is lousy coaches across the board and it takes us years to figure out those were bad hires. They need to find the right person who can make a great hire and I don’t think Mayhew is qualified to pick coaches or players.

  14. People are acting as though the Head Coach will work directly with Stafford. Sorry, he won’t. He’ll hire and OC and QB coach, that he feels, will effectively work with Stafford. He may be smart and convincing enough to get Norv Turner to be OC/QB coach. I think that would be awesome. I’m not saying that I want him as HC. But, I believe in having an open mind about the candidates.

  15. Not my first choice. Then again, who is out there asking for the job?

    The Lions need to take their time and interview a long list of candidates.

  16. All the speculation is crazy………. Sometimes it seems the agents, owners or others are just trying to generate interest or confuse the issue.

  17. So I am trying to think of a good spin on this. Here is my best attempt:

    Caldwell is probably a pretty good O coordinator. I mean Peyton didn’t exactly fire him prior to him becoming head coach.

    I think Detroit should talk to him to understand what thoughts he has on offense/Stafford and then wisely move on.

    Yeah… that really was the best I could come up with…

  18. I won’t say Caldwelll can’t be a good head coach, but with the talent that Detroit has, they need a more experienced guy who can instill some discipline and coach up Stafford. Hard to evaluate Caldwell as he inherited Peyton Manning and went to the SB his first year, but when Manning unexpectedly went down, the team he was left was in no position to win without Manning, even worse with Curtis Painter.

  19. If the lions were smart they would buy out David Cutcliffe from Duke. Guy is disciplinary and is a well balanced coach, has good defensive acumen but he is an offensive mastermind.

  20. Oh he’s the guy who killed the Colt’s chance at an undefeated regular, and possibly Superbowl, season.

  21. I’m not saying Caldwell is a good head coach or anything but you can’t really fault him for going 2 – 14 when the player the team was built around was lost for the season, especially when the back up QB (Who nobody thought would ever play) is some artist guy that nobody had ever heard of .

  22. Demeanor is a terrible way to judge a coach, however no one is judging Caldwell on his demeanor. We’re judging him on his Rich Kotite-esque coaching ability.
    Simply put, there is no one on the planet better suited to torpedo an NFL franchise than Jim Caldwell.

  23. I don’t get the hard questions. Isn’t the current Denver offensive coordinator seen as a top head coaching candidate because of Manning? Actually, both coordinators for Denver are benefitting from Manning.

  24. No. Please no. Jim Schwartz ultimately failed due in large part to poor decision making and game management. Those are 2 of the hallmarks of Jim Caldwells time in Indy. If this is the direction we’re going, we should’ve just kept Schwartz.

  25. Everyone brings up Curtis painter but instead let’s say he was nothing without Peyton Manning. Lets be honest I could coach a Peyton led team to a winning record.

  26. I will have a good laugh if they hire that guy since he is a lousy head coach unless he’s magically changed while in Baltimore. He’s the main reason why the Colts lost the superbowl in 2009 and then lost to the Jets in 2010.

    It is mind blowing how so many teams in this supposed pro league are run/owned by utterly clueless people.

  27. Please take this guy off our hands!!! Only thing I don’t care about john harbaugh is he lets friendships get in the way of business, any other organization would’ve sent dude and Juan Castilla packing after that garbage of line blocking schemes and offensive play calling! Im a die hard ravens fan but PRAY he leaves

  28. Again, they’re just kicking tires. These guys (Caldwell and Cable) are guys they could talk to now, w/o waiting, but neither are serious candidates. The guys they want are either coaching teams in bowls or are coaching in the NFL this weekend.

  29. the only reason this guy got a head coaching job in the NFL is because of dungy holding irsay to his word. This guy couldnt coach his way out of a paper back, the ONLY reason he went to a superbowl was because of peyton manning

  30. Lovie Smith or Bill Chower are the obvious choices. Honestly don’t know why they haven’t thrown money at either. I have way more faith in Caldwell than most and think he could do ok, but Lovie went to the big game with Grossman.

  31. Both candidates are pretty underwhelming choices. The Lions probably have the most talent of the teams in need of a HC so you think they’d be able to attract more exciting candidates. That said Cable would be an especially horrible person to try to instill discipline into a team that needs it. The Raiders were the most penalized team by a pretty large margin when he was in charge and he’s got such a bad temper he allegedly broke an assistants jaw.

  32. Haven’t read the comments so I’m sure this has already been said BUT it sounds like the Lions are “fulfilling their league requirement” (ERR interviewing a hot candidate that HAPPENS to be a minority).

    Look, I’m not saying racism is extinct in the U.S., but when it comes to a multi-billion dollar industry like the NFL, I’m extremely confident organizations are looking to hire the best possible head coach or GM, regardless of skin color. Well-run organizations don’t care about an employee’s race; they care about success and money. I hope by now it’s clear that teams that hire the best possible personnel will be winners, and race shouldn’t be considered.

  33. Last year Ravens fans said Caldwell saved them after they booted their last OC..Now they want him out..LOL lions would be better off with Lovie Smith

  34. It’s really simple: does he hold people accountable and does he know how to manage a game?

    You can get an OC to scheme and coach up Stafford. You can get a DC to get those guys to stay onside and hit the QB BEFORE he throws the ball.

    You really only need someone as a head coach who can put it all together while not throwing his headset and chasing after other coaches.

  35. He’s not the “choice” name for this year’s coaching carousel and he has blemishes for sure…but I will say one thing about his coaching tenure: he gets his team/squad to play up to their talent level. When the Colts rolled out to a 14-2 record in his first year, they well and truly had 14 win talent. When they tumbled to a 2 win year…they well and truly had 2 win talent.

    It might sound underwhelming but if the Lions can get a coach who only does that, getting a squad to play to their talent level, it would be a relative success. The talent on the current Lions squad is on par to 10-12 win team…reaching that threshold this year would have meant a division title. That’s the kind of progress this franchise hasn’t seen in a while.

  36. A lot of Ravens fans hating on a guy they hailed as a savior a year ago. But Ravens have been known to turn on their friends.

  37. Why would anyone want Caldwell? Did they see the Ravens offense this year? The fans can’t even defend it, the other day the fans were just saying the offense sucked on here due to lack of weapons. Even though they have decent players. If the Lions are the supposed best job out there, then go and get a good coach. Maybe the Top DC or OC? Bad teams will continue to be bad.

  38. REHIRE SCHWARTZ IMMEDIATELY! HE HAND PICKED A WINNING BUT GREEN TEAM THE PAST TWO YEARS to replace retiring team that went from 0-16 to 10-6 and the playoffs. Schwartz has BEEN to the superbowl as defensive coach! this was a rebuilding year. they won thanksgiving game, were tops first half of season for conference, 3rd in division, slowed down only by injuries to key players from their momentum. a 7-9 finish was by just 4 points overall: 1 down and 3 down from being in the playoffs! you DON’T FIRE A GREAT COACH FOR going 7-9! the players know a great coach when they see one, and THEY WANT HIM BACK! He developed a lot of players and the next 2 years he’d planned to be in the playoffs and then take the superbowl the second year! UNLIKE THE FRONT OFFICE, SCHWARTZ IS A LONG TERM PLANNER FOR THIS TEAM – AND NOBODY CAN REPLACE HIM AT THIS POINT IN TIME! GET HIM BACK! MAKE SOME FACE SAVING STATEMENT, WM CLAY AND SON, THAT THE FRONT OFFICE DID NOT SPEAK FOR THEM, AND THEIR DECISION IS FINAL TO RE-OFFER SCHWARTZ HIS TWO YEAR CONTRACT. MAYBE THEY CAN SHAVE OFF A LITTLE MONEY FOR HIS RETURN, BUT PAY WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO TO GET HIM BACK! SHEESH! WHAT A BUNCH OF MORONS just trying to save their front office jobs! DON’T FIRE ANYBODY, GIVE SCHWARTZ THE RIGHT TO HIRE WHOEVER HE PLEASES AT WHATEVER PRICE AND YOU WILL HAVE THE SUPERBOWL WINNERS! CLIFF AVRIL SHOULD HAVE BEEN PAID WHAT HE WAS WORTH SO HE MOVED ON. NOW CLIFF’S IN THE PLAYOFFS AND DETROIT’S NOT! FOOLS TO LET HIM GO! HE IS A PLAYMAKER WHO GETS SCORES ON THE BOARD! SCHWARTZ IS A GENIUS AND WILL MAKE DETROIT THE BIG TIME TEAM HE PLANNED. JUST GIVE HIM ROOM AND FREEDOM TO MAKE IT OVER HIS WAY, NOT YOURS! I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!

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