Lions hire Jim Caldwell as head coach


And now we’re down to two (head coaching vacancies).

The Lions filled theirs Tuesday, hiring Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell as their next head coach, a league source confirms to PFT. The team has quickly announced the move, as well.

Caldwell brings a stability the Lions needed, and has the kind of offensive credentials to work with the impressive collection of parts on hand.

They clearly were looking for someone to add some maturity to a team that flashed talent, but often showed its immaturity during the Jim Schwartz era. Caldwell had the endorsement of his old boss Tony Dungy, and has the same kind of calm demeanor which the Lions could use.

269 responses to “Lions hire Jim Caldwell as head coach

  1. Good move. Brings discipline and a brilliant offensive mind.

    Now the question begs…who’s going to be his defensive coordinator to help bring stability to the defense.

  2. Wow. Headline on January 14, 2016 — The Lions fire Jim Caldwell as head coach.

    Seriously, when this guy was the coach in Indy I didn’t see his mouth move once on the sidelines. They could’ve put a cardboard cutout of Caldwell on the sidelines and it would have looked exactly the same.

  3. Another underwhelming hire. Although Lion fans will groan though, what’s the difference between him and Whisenhunt? Whisenhunt has proven over a longer period of time that he’s mediocre, at least with Caldwell, you can hope, lol.

  4. The Lions have lost my loyalty, 26 years of blood sweat…well of mostly tears I am now denouncing them as my team, I have watched every single second of crappy Lions football since I was 10 and this is the ultimate low, settling for a guy who ran a crappy offense with the Ravens and had that patented deer in the headlights look when he was the HC of the Colts, later Lions Im done with you.

  5. Should have been Lovie.

    Coach Caldwell’s a good man, but I don’t know if he’ll have the intensity to match and reign in that rowdy bunch.

  6. Picture says it all, Jim Caldwell is dumb and confused when it come to NFL Football. Damn you Tony Dungy and your crusade for this imbecile.

  7. Don’t know what changed in this guys play calling from the playoffs last year until this year but hopefully Detroit’s line can hold blocks for the 28 seconds each passing play takes to develop.

  8. Not sure I like this hire for Detroit. What they need is a disciplinarian who can provide leadership from the coaching position, and Caldwell is more of a quiet technocrat. When Caldwell became head coach of the Colts, he walked into a very favorable situation with a disciplined team that had leadership all over the board, most notably Peyton.

    Could it be that Detroit panicked as a result of the Titans hiring Ken Whisenhunt?

  9. GOOD. Now Vikings hire Zimmer from Cincy and the Browns won’t be in a bidding war from the remaining candidates. That will leave whoever wants to be a head coach will HAVE to go to Cleveland. It’s not like Caldwell’s offense tore it up or anything…

    Just Sayin’…Go Brownies!!

  10. Terrible, Terrible Signing. How can fans see these things and guys who spend their lives around football be blind to it? The guy built a reputation based on an offense Manning runs BY HIMSELF. Same stupid reason people are clamoring to interview Adam Gase from the broncos. This guy couldn’t win without Manning on the roster, as he proved the year he was canned. How did the Ravens offense do this year? I am pretty sure he joined the list of OC’s there that routinely forget they have Ray Rice. He by all accounts seems like a great person, but I doubt this will be looked upon as a turning point 4 years from now.

  11. Meanwhile the Vikings are about to hire the next Bellichick in Mike Zimmer who will lead them to multiple Super Bowl victories.

    The dynasty is beginning.


  12. Is it me, or does anyone who came up under Tony Dungy seem soft (coaching standpoint)
    Lovie Smith, Herm Edwards, Jim Caldwell. The only reasonable one is Mike Tomlin & even he has some coaching flaws

  13. Bengals fans are praying that the Vikings don’t take Mike Zimmer away from them.

    Ravens fans are rejoicing that the Lions have taken Jim Caldwell away from them.

    What does that tell you?

  14. Is it me, or does anyone who came up under Tony Dungy seem soft from a (coaching standpoint)
    Lovie Smith, Herm Edwards, Jim Caldwell. The only reasonable one is Mike Tomlin & even he has some coaching flaws

  15. what are his accomplishments on offense? He had Peyton. Got fired with out Peyton. Ruined Ray Rice. Off. ranked 25th in pts 29 in yds 18th in pass and 30 in run. Yep he should be a head coach based on those accomplishments.

  16. Don’t like it at all, but I’m not going to cry about it. I’ll just complain if he doesn’t get the job done like I have always had to do as a fan and critic of this team. And even if he doesn’t strike you as a great HC then there’s always the chance he could assemble the right people that can help this team improve on both sides of the ball. There is a chance for us to get better, it’s not over until we at least play the games!

    This is Mayhew’s guy and his show now, so the GM better give this new HC everything he could possibly need to win the SB. At least there won’t be any viability to making excuses if we lose again. These guys are in bed together, so they should win the SB together, or get fired together. Just don’t take too long to do one or the other, there’s no time for screwing around.

  17. Now the lions will go back to what they are use to. Last place every year. I like how they make it seem he is some offensive guru. The Ravens offense was just down right horrible this year. Well at least lion fans won’t have to worry about any more seasons collapsing, since their season will be over by week 8.

  18. Makes sense! 2-14 two seasons ago as HC, led Ravens to 29th in yards, 25th in points and oversaw a horrid season for both Flacco & Ray Rice! Oh and if he wasn’t hired, it’s been written he was going to be fired!

    No one else is gonna hire him, why not wait for Roman/Bevell/Quinn/Gase?!?!?!

    Idiotic, idiotic, idiotic

  19. Resume:


    26-63 at Wake Forest

    Colts: Great first year, progressively worse each season after

    Ravens: Great first half season as OC, marked and steep decline following season.


    Tony Dungy says he’s a good coach.


  20. WOWWWW!!! I feel bad for Lions fans and players. HORRIBLE SIGNING!!! This man and “coach” of whatever position do not go together at all. Smh at you Lions execs.

  21. I’m sick to my stomach. I think I’m finally done with this godforsaken franchise. I wouldn’t subject this to my worst enemy.

    Silver lining being Ravens fans now have something to rejoice over during the offseason. BURN IN H*** LIONS!!!

  22. Clearly the best available and sorely needed to help Stafford realize his potential. He’s a Super Bowl coach as a HC and a Super Bowl winner as an OC.

    Definitely an upgrade over Swartz.

  23. Nice move Lions! Just another pathetic hire from a pathetic franchise. Not that I wasn’t convinced before but this just confirms the Fords have to be the worst owners in the NFL at making football decisions. Only good thing about this one is that it SHOULD seal the fates of Mayhew & Lewand.

  24. I think if you look at the NFL hiring landscape everyone else is a re-thread not a lot of people out there for teams to hire. Slim pickings if you will. Caldwell i cant say this way or that way but i hope he does well, but his track record suggests he among others have benefited from P.Manning getting people hired since 1999 lol…

  25. Why is this such a bad mistake? Ravens didn’t mind entrusting their offense to him during their SUPER BOWL run. Lions fans, don’t be like Philly fans (which I’m one) and be negative. In the words of Rick Petino, Bill Cowher and John Gruden ain’t coming through the door.

  26. Clearly a panic move by an pro team run by amateurs.

    Detroit fans, and I’m one, need to understand once and for all — a team can have all the talent in the world but if you are run by amateurs you have NO CHANCE to win. We have no chance.

    This will be an epic 3-4 year failure.

  27. He gets bad rep overall, but are you really going hold that miserable season with Painter as his true ability as a coach? This will be his biggest test (No Manning but a decent team). He did well in 2012 as OC, but was bad this year because Flacco stinks, Boldin was gone, and Rice hit a wall. He doesn’t talk much, so he’ll be better than Jim Schwartz in not looking like a douche, that’s for sure.

  28. Jay gruden and jim caldwell are probably two of the worst hires in the last 20 years. No playoffs for either team in the next 5 years.

  29. What a fiasco.

    It’s worse than Leslie Fraser in Minnesota, at least there, it wasn’t this extremity of individual ego driven decisions by players that you see in Detroit.

    Caldwell does not stand a chance against these guys. What’s he gonna do, “reason” with Fairley after his next bone head move, or the one after that, or the one after that. Is he gonna “reason” with Stafford when he throws his next off his back heal side arm straight to a DB. Is he gonna “reason” with him on the one after that. Caldwell needs Payton (or Harbaugh) to help him deal with these guys.

    I want to like the Lions, I’ve wanted to for three years. As a Steeler fan, I cannot stand this organization. So you know. Suh reminds me of Mean Joe Green. Stafford reminds me of Bradshaw. I like these guys, but without Knoll, they’re nobodies. Caldwell is no Knoll.

  30. Lions fans crying about the hire. Who did you want that was better and available? Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Tony Dungy and Brian Billick were not available so do not include them.

  31. Sorry Lions fan. I’m a Colts fan & can confirm this guy is a disaster. No clue how to manage a game, poor game plans, zero adjustments, & horrendous usage of timeouts & challenges. Other than that, he’s alright!

  32. sigh

    Lions fans clearly wants a more flashy hire, but that’s probably not what’s needed..

    it seems Caldwell gets too little credit for winning in Indy because of Manning and too much blame for losing, even though Polian failed to provide defensive talent and a decent backup plan at QB.

    Caldwell did play a part in turning around an offense in time for a SB-winning run last year

  33. What is Wayne Fontes doing these days? The ‘Big Buck” was much maligned during his tenure with the Lions but he had them in the playoff hunt more that any of the Bozos the Fords have hired since that time.

  34. Its hard to be optimistic about this and he better be on a VERY short leash.

    I do get a laugh from that Vikings fan though.

    Minnesota Vikings: King of the chokers since the 1960s.

  35. I think this guy is a wait and see …dingy gives this guy a lot if credit. He likes to go deep and doesn’trun the ball much but his resume is little better then the whiz

  36. People ripping this hire don’t know much about Caldwell. Sure, he’s stoic and comes off with not much personality (Belichick anyone?) but he brings leadership and a no-nonsense approach this team has sorely lacked. Polian pretty much all but tied his hands in Indy, when it came to which personnel to play. I suspect he’s going to do really, really well in Detroit.

  37. He may be a nice guy, but Caldwell is easily the most clueless head coach I have ever seen. I remember him at the podium and literally could not answer a single question. This guy is not what they Lions needed. They needed a competent coach that instills discipline and accountability. He won’t last long.

  38. People blaming JC for the Ravens offensive failures are not only misguided, but most likely blind to the realities of the NFL. The fact is, the ravens struggled because of an absolutely embarrassing effort by the offensive line. Thats it, plain and simple. Joe Flacco CARRIED the ravens to an 8-8 season, with no run game, and one serviceable wideout. Caldwell was the victim of a TERRIBLE colts front office that basically leaned on Manning to bail the franchise out, completely surrounded with garbage talent. So when he went down… know the story…1-15. Caldwell is a very good coach, that players respect and will work hard for. The defense is what detroit needs to focus on. Thanks for you time. GO RAVENS

  39. Another guy that should have to give 30% of his paycheck directly to Peyton Manning for making his career.

    At least Dungy was smart enough to stop coaching while Peyton was still playing so he didn’t have to re expose himself as an over matched loser. Each year after Dungy left a team they went to the superbowl..think on that as to his value to the team.

  40. At this point, the only thing Lions fans can take solace in is knowing they still have the Vikings in their division.

  41. I actually liked the Lions chances of winning the North with someone like Whisenhunt at the wheel. With Caldwell, I see them dead last now. What happened to Detroit being the best job available?

  42. I haven’t given the Ford family a dime in over 5 years. What more can I do as a fan? This is possibly the most uninspiring hire possible by an organization that clearly is run and owned by idiots. Please fellow Lion fans, stop buying tickets. It’s your fault they get away with this. You choose to keep spending money in this team.

  43. I don’t get how a team ready-made with top tier talent that many teams would need to stink for years to acquire at the top of the draft would have to resort to hiring this guy. Any coach would be getting a win-now team from day 1. #mind-boggled

  44. Well, this makes it clear to me that the inmates are running the asylum there.

    This will not end well.

  45. No.. no. No! God no! God… No! Nooo!

    How can this franchise continue to do this to me! Jim Caldwell is your man!? He’s the guy who’s supposed to make me believe in this tean again? This guy couldn’t outcoach a mediocre Madden player. This is just the most disappointed I’ve been with the Lions since the years they would not fire Millen in the offseason.

    SMDH I have refrained from the term but it’s undeniable. SAME OLD LIONS

  46. For a while he it looked like the Colts were going to go undefeated when he was HC. He helped coach the Ravens to the SB once he got play calling duties. The guy CAN coach…can the Lions take to coaching is the issue.

  47. Stephen A. Smith spent a segment of “First Take” the other day, ranting that because Detroit is 85 percent black, Caldwell would be the Lions’ perfect coach.
    Why is it only minorities can make racist statements?

  48. Don’t forget, along with Dungys influence this guy took the colts to their only super bowl win in 06.


    Caldwell was credited with reviving the Ravens’ offense down the stretch last season, helping Baltimore win the Super Bowl.

    Can’t be ALL BAD

  49. How could the interview have possibly gone?

    Lions: “Coach, what is your offensive plan of attack?”

    Caldwell: “………………….”

    Lions: “I see, I see. Well, what about defensive schemes?”

    Caldwell: “…………….”

    Lions; “Do you want the job?”

    Caldwell: *head nod*

  50. Maybe a coach with the demeanor of Caldwell will bring some stability and calm to a team that formerly had none. No one seems to think it a good idea but can he be any worse than Schwartz, who was on the other end of the emotional spectrum? Many of their losses seemed in part to the over-the-top stupid penalties taken by players who couldn’t control or channel their emotions.

    Caldwell has a decent football pedigree and should be able to surround himself with some good coordinators. He is a definite step up from Schwartz.

  51. Look, he may not be the guy you want, but its the guy we got. Give the man a chance and if he fails then ridicule him. Until then give him a chance and ride with him.

    As for the people that say he’s to calm and shows no excitement, look at what that got us with Gym Shorts!!! It showed that the loudest person in the room is sometimes the weakest in the room. I never saw lack of discipline from any of Caldwell’s team, even the 2-14 one.

    Give the man a chance!!!

  52. Jim Caldwell is a great guy, but I think this is a bad hire.

    Stafford has been regressing, Caldwell hasn’t been able to coach up a QB, in fact Flacco regressed in his first full season as the OC for Baltimore.

    Can he be a good HC, probably in the right situation, I am just not sure this is the right one.

    Good Luck though. I wish you the best.

  53. Lol, Packer fans needed some good news after their early exit from the playoffs. Lets see, Cutler (1-9 against GB) signs a 7 yr deal with the Bears, Lions hire Caldwell who claim to fame was being the OC and then HC of the Colts when Payton ran everything on the offensive side of the ball. Then you have the Vikings who have no quarterback, aging RB who wants out and no play makers on D. Can the NFL just hand the NFC North title to GB for the next 4-5 yrs? #GoPackGo

  54. Vikings fans have taken to the streets in sheer excitement and pandemonium, while Detroit has already put a curfew in place for tonight starting at 9 PM. Reports of gunshots, looting and burning buses have been reported outside Ford Field.

    Whoever just wrote; “Good move. Brings discipline and a brilliant offensive mind.”
    Are you for real? He doesn’t even open his mouth and is more stoic than a tree stump. This is Les Frazier 2.0. He has a great offensive mind alright….so did Mike Sherman. If anything…you meant his teams will be offensive and undisciplined right??

    Lions fans are calling their banks for a stop payment on the season ticket re-up as we speak.

  55. Sports fans are the worst. So much negativity for a guy that’s been to a SB as a HC and won a SB as an OC… but it’s strange you don’t see any comment on those HUGE accomplishments. He had Manning, so what, how many SB’s does Belichick have without Brady?

    I’m not saying he’s going to be great, I’m saying sports fans are awful.

  56. Someone put Schwartz on suicide watch. It’s one thing to get fired from your job, it’s something else entirely to be replaced by a mannequin.

  57. This is such a bad hire I had to check the headline to make sure it was the Lions and not the Vikings. The Vikings are equally clueless at the front office level and have yet to make their own mistake but this is easily the worse hire of the entire offseason. That’s saying a lot given there are other teams yet to make their move.

    Leave it to the Lions to challenge the Vikings for the NFC basement.

  58. Have the Lions figured out a way to make more money and be more profitable by losing?

    Honestly, he is a terrible coach by any metric you want to use. Unless you wanted to guarantee losing I see no reason to give him a head coaching position.

  59. I think this guy is a wait and see …dingy gives this guy a lot if credit. He likes to go deep and doesn’trun the ball much but his resume is little better then the whiz

    Except for that whole taking a washed up Kurt Warner (he couldn’t beat out Marc Bulger, Rookie Eli, and Josh McCown in 3 years) and taking the friggin CARDINALS to the Super Bowl. Then, he went to San Deigo, where Rivers has been putting up dreadful numbers and decisions under Turner and turned him around in 1 year. Jim Caldwell had Manning, then got lucky the Bronco’s decided not to cover a hail mary. Had the Raven’s not won last year, Raven’s fans would be much more anti-Caldwell. Whiz would have been amazing in DET. As a GB fan, I am glad the Lions went this way. They kind of remind me of the Al Davis Raiders toward the end. The blind leading the blind.

  60. As a Bears fan, I was worried the Lions would get Whisenhunt. Not too worried now.

    Whoever brought up diminishing returns has got it right. I think we’ll see a solid first year from Caldwell’s Lions next year… maybe even making the playoffs… followed by 2-3 years of utter futility until he’s fired.

  61. “Calm demeanor”? He showed his calm demeanor when the Saints bent him over in the Super Bowl and gave him a good spanking.
    It’s too early for April Fools jokes. This is the most laughable hire since, since, since, EVER!

  62. Not sure if this is the right hire in Detroit; however, I do know one thing. When Caldwell ascended to the OC position in baltimore after Cameron was axed, ratbird fans were heralding him as a brilliant offensive mind that was going to make joe flaccid the best quarterback in the NFL. That was somewhat prophetic as jump ball joe’s moon shots somehow found their way into his receivers hands throughout the playoffs and luckimore won their second Super Bowl.

    That brings us to this year. joe flaccid returned to earth and the mediocre quarterback that we all know he is in today’s NFL. The “wizard of oz” traded away the guy that caught most of those prayers and all the sudden losing Caldwell is a blessing.

    The next OC is still going be shorthanded on offense due to the ever-escalating ridiculous contract they gave mr. mediocre. And torey smith will once again show he’s a #2 receiver.

    The first relief will come after year 3 when jump ball joe is shown the door…


  63. I was actually hoping my Titans would hire Caldwell. Now I’m keeping my fingers crossed the getting Whisenhunt (the hot choice of the moment) instead will work out well for us. Congrats Lions fans on landing the real deal.

  64. I know its been said many a time but this is just a fabulous moment for da Bears, Packers and Vikes.
    I actually had the Pack in the bottom on the North next year with the Lions and Vikes fighting it out. Now I have Deetroit fighting it out with Packers for total ineptitude club.

  65. I know its been said many a time but this is just a fabulous moment for da Bears, Packers and Vikes.
    I actually had the Pack in the bottom on the North next year with the Lions and Vikes fighting it out. Now I have Deetroit fighting it out with Packers for total ineptitude club.

  66. This is an interesting move, something tells me he was not the number 1 guy they were going after. It will be interesting in that division to see if this team can get it done.

  67. I hope Minnesota-Detroit plays on week 17 next year on NBC Sunday Night.

    “The War to Finish in Third” will no doubt set a new ratings record.

  68. As a 42 year fan of the Lions, I am not thrilled with this hire, other than the fact their 1st choice went elsewhere so maybe by accident it will work out.

    But really, after 42 years, whats another 20 before getting it right!

  69. Despite what many think, this could be a good hire. Detroit severely needs some discipline and maturity, which he should be able to provide. Also, while Caldwell is clearly not good at running an entire offense, he does some pretty good work with QBs. As long as he doesn’t call his own plays, I think Detroit fans will be pleasantly surprised by this hire.

  70. I can’t say I love the hire but before total crucifying him, let’s take a take a look at his staff. A strong DC to manage the personal foul prone line and a quality OC to keep Stafford focused on his mechanics and it might actually work out.

  71. TheBirdsAreBackinBmore says:
    Jan 14, 2014 12:53 PM
    People blaming JC for the Ravens offensive failures are not only misguided, but most likely blind to the realities of the NFL. The fact is, the ravens struggled because of an absolutely embarrassing effort by the offensive line.

    -So an OC is not responsible for the performance of a key part of the offense. Got it.

    edelmanfanclub says:
    Jan 14, 2014 12:45 PM
    He gets bad rep overall, but are you really going hold that miserable season with Painter as his true ability as a coach?

    -Is it OK for me to hold him responsible for dragging the Colts from 14-2 and a Super Bowl appearance his first year to 10-6 and a first round loss his second? Am I allowed to hold him accountable for his utterly horrendous 26-63 record at the place where he was head coach long enough to actually mold a team?

  72. I am not happy with this hire at all. I remember feeling the same sinking feeling when they announced the hiring of Matt Milan . Please don’t sign him long term. I hope he proves me wrong though.

  73. All I know is for 16 games with the Colts he stood there with his jaw dropped looking like, what the hell am I doing. A 2-14 head coach. Is that the best they can do? Wow Mayhew just showed he is not in the same class with his counterparts.
    Spielman of the Vikes has stolen the last three drafts and he came out and said right away to avoid the Detroit fiasco, were interviewing many, no big hurry, were taking our time and looking at a lot of guys.
    They now have interviewed two people twice and may be looking at a few more. Their crazy idea: GET IF FRICKING RIGHT!

  74. Unbelievable!!!!!

    Jim Caldwell now begins his quest to declaw and extract each and every tooth from the ‘Detroit Lions’ and then will rename them the ‘Detroit Puddy Kittens’.

    I feel for you Lions fans. Horrible move.

  75. Not piling on but Im surprised they signed this guy. I never understood why anyone thought this guy was that great. Seemed like the typical NFL buddy system in Indy, Dungy s hand picked successor. He just seemed lost and lucky to have Peyton to run the show for him. Maybe his docile demeanor will rub off on the Lions.

  76. The funiest thing in all of this. According to Detroit News, The Ford Jet was running the engines Metro or Detroit City? getting ready to fly down pick up Whisenhunt and bring him back as the new head coach and they learned on the news he took another job.
    Now that there is dam punny. The guy doesn’t even call back and say thanks for the interview but I took another job. Boy are the Lions going to be pissed at him.

  77. maybe this hire will help get london a team…..the london lions has a sweet ring to it and on the offseason caldwell can work as a beefeater he would be a hall o famer at that …….. staring blankly into space unaffected by passers by

  78. Rick Spielman gave birth to 3-13 and 5-10-1. He is incompetence personified. So I expect the Vikings hire will be much, much worse than this.

    Viking fans also laughed at the McCarthy hire, and in a few short years he has outperformed every Viking coach in history. Don’t worry Lions fans. They know nothing.

  79. Great Hire! Funny how all the Raven fans are happy and this was the same man who had to save your season last year and called your offense to a Super Bowl! Be honest with yourselves…Flacco came down to earth this year, your line took a major step back and you couldnt run the football to save your lives. My goodness how soon do we forget and let’s not mention he was the OC in Indy as well during those great Payton years. NFC North haters…ie.Bears, Packers and Vikings. Talk all the negative stuff you want but you know as well as every Lions fan this team is talented from top to bottom and if we ever had a guy who could instill some discipline in this bunch of misfits we would go from a talented team to good. So please just stop as bad as we were we still were 4-2 in the division haha.

    Now to my other Lion Fans…lets give the guy a break and see what he does. He was Payton’s QB coach and lets remember he started out worse than Stafford (numbers wise). 2 Super Bowl rings as an OC and was the only interview candidate that took the time to break down EVERY throw Stafford threw this season and went over it with him during an interview. His disposition may be what these guys need. Am I 100 percent sold???? Uhhhh…not quite but I like him better than the remaining candidates.

  80. Never seen a guy that had appeared in 3 of the last 7 superbowls ….2 as OC and 1 as head coach trashed so much.

  81. Lions GM: What’s the fastest way I can get fired?

    Jim Caldwell: Don’t worry, I’ll lock up that #1 pick in the draft for you!

  82. So his one year as a head coach without Peyton they were the worst team in the league. Then his first full season as OC of the Ravens, their offense clearly took a step back. And for this stellar record, the Lions think he is the best choice out there?

  83. Do people realize that real people live in the City of Detroit? Real people that deserve to be treated like everyone else? I mean, I was born and raised just outside Detroit and I get sick of people dumping on Detroit for just about no reason. Caldwell was a good pickup. He wants to be there and had success in a winning system. I am pretty sure NE fans were not excited about Billichek because he was not that good in Cleveland.

  84. Good news for Chicago: You’re guaranteed to finish in at least second every year.

    Bad News for Chicago: You’re still not better than Green Bay and will find a way to screw it up when the chips fall your way(2013-14).

    Good news for Green Bay: You’re still the top dog.

    Bad news for Green Bay: You’re still a first round exit in a bad division.

    Bad news for Minnesota and Detroit: You’re wasting the careers of Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson.

    Good news for Minnesota and Detroit: Both of you have cable access to watch actual NFL teams.

  85. I say it all the time, if you fire someone, you need to bring in someone better…

    I can’t say that Caldwell will be better than Schwartz…

    I can’t say hes worse though either.

  86. Sorry Lions, you were never going to get someone good to move into the city that is going down in flames.
    Whisenhunt’s first question was if he could coach in Detroit but live in Ohio.

  87. Wow! what’s with all the haterade for Caldwell. All the guy has done is get to 3 Super Bowls. And had a major role in winning 2 as Offensive Coordinator. And don’t give me that garbage about Peyton Manning being his own coach. Didn’t happen that way. Peyton himself gives much of the credit for his development to Caldwell. As did Flacco during his Super Bowl run. MATHEW STAFFORD needs this guy badly!

    All Detroit need to do is bring in a Killer Defensive Staff. And they could become a lethal foe in that division. Marc Trestman in Chicago is not better than Caldwell. McCarthy in Green Bay is. WHo knows what Minnesota will hire. And Ken Whisenhunt in Tennessee is not better than Caldwell. So I think Detroit made a very good selection. I predict they will easily make the playoffs next year now. And a lot of critics will really be eating crow, if they get to the Super Bowl itself.

    I’m not predicting that. But stranger things have happened in the past. Like an obscure old coach named Vince Lombardi getting hired to a job in that ice bucket in Green Bay, that no one wanted.
    Here’s what I suspect. Detroit will win a lot of games in 2014. Simply because they have too much talent and good enough coach, to lose like they did the past 2 years.

  88. Brief history lesson: Caldwell was the HC in Indy between his mentor (Dumbo Dungy) and Pagano. Now did he do? He was awful. From there he moved on to OC in Balt for the last year and a half. How did he do (this year was all his, and they sucked on offense)? As a Bears fan, I am ecstatic. As for my friends who are Lions fans, it must be embarrassing. Just a pathetic hire.

  89. I don’t hate the guy but I don’t see what he ever did as a HC to warrant getting another shot. (And not just a shot, but a team loaded with talent that should know a miss on the hire likely means they miss their window.) The lack of discipline was Detroit’s greatest flaw but is Caldwell hard-nosed enough to get guys into line?

  90. Caldwell/Suh = match made in heaven..NOT!
    Caldwell/Stafford = also, like minded souls…NOT! And don’t they also have a immature turd receiver?? (I am of course not speaking of Johnson). It’s too bad, there are some good fans of the “Rebuilding-Since-1957-Detriot-Lions”. Who knows? This may turn out great, but not too likely. It’s a shame, for a fan base and a city that could sure use a boost.

  91. Man am I glad my Buc’s hired Lovie. Now for every jackwagon that loathes the Rooney rule. It’s an interview and you can interview as many as you like. 3 out of the last 4 Buc’s head coaches have been minorities. Suck on that grapefruit.

  92. +
    I think the key for Caldwell will be the staff that he can bring in. If Lions mgmt requires him to keep the current coaches than its all over. A new coach should have the right to bring in his own guys. I’m writing this because I’ve seen tweets that says he will have to keep 5 members of the existing coaching staff.

  93. I am not one who thinks detroit has a great hire as of now, but lets get real.
    24-8 with a super bowl appearance when you have PM as your QB.

    2-14 without him and your fired.
    Won a superbowl as OC for baltimore, how many coaches can say that????

    to say this is the worst hire ever and all this other crap just proves how little knowledge so many people have of the NFL and coaching……but thats typical.

  94. Lot’s of people angry he was hired. But the really said thing is, Caldwell is an upgrade. That’s how bad Schwartz was.

  95. Hmmm…..

    A bit of a head scratcher. To my knowledge he did little of import in Indy, and Ravens fans don’t seem to care for him.

    So, what was the basis for his hiring?

  96. YES! Way to go Detroit! Now it’s down to the Browns and Vikings for openings, and that’s an easy choice for most HC candidates to make. (If you’re objective.) Zimmer is in Eden Prairie today, hopefully they don’t let him leave.

    Sorry Browns fans, can’t see any A-list candidate going to the Browns. The owner really screwed this one up. No commitment to a coach they hired a year ago, owner possibly going to jail. I don’t know how they could have screwed it up more than they did.

  97. Horrible hire. What on earth are they thinking?

    We just wasted Calvin Johnson’s career – just like we wasted Barry’s career. This is sickening.

    In two years, when they fire this guy, I hope they take Mayhew with them. I thought he was doing an above average job, but there is no way I can defend him now.

    I live up north where most of the NFL fans are cheeseheads. Thanks to the Lions, GB can add one more cheeshead to their ranks.

    I AM DONE.

  98. Look I know a lot of u guys dislike Caldwell but I gotta admit I kinda like the guy and I am sooo happy Jim Swartz isn’t around anymore!! Hate that guy and good luck lions and lions fans

  99. motor city recycling project? I can’t believe all this crap about not wanting to live in Detroit. A once proud place that a coach could own the fans with a winner. Plus, 4 to 5 million a year can put you in a beautiful neighborhood.

  100. Lots of people complaining about the hire. I can’t agree with those who think this is bad for the Lions. Jim Caldwell was working for Tony Dungy for all tose years, he had to have learned something. He did alright with the Colts until Manning missed the season he was fired after.

    I think Caldwell has what he needs for talent in Detroit. If he can assemble the right staff to get the Lions players to play as a team, there is some good things that can come out of Detroit for a change. He needs good staff there and he can do a lot with the level of talent on the roster in Detroit.

  101. Jim “suck for luck” Caldwell, what a laughable hire!!!

    But the Baltimore debacle wasn’t all Jim’s fault! A 22MILLION $$ QB that was only worth 7MILLION had a lot to do with the defeciencies! Plus an aging RB in Rice… plus Q leaving… all a recipe for mediocracy!

    good luck Lions and fans, you’ll need it!

  102. The first time Caldwell benches a starter for doing something stupid in a game or otherwise and turns the players career(maybe LIFE) for the better all the haters will crawl back under their rocks.
    To coach is to teach.
    Schwartz is not a good teacher.

  103. And guys, nobodys hatin. Just it would appear the Lions could do better. Again, Im surprised Caldwell got another head coaching gig. I think most people see him as a great guy, experienced at the NFL level but just doesnt have that personality or demeanor to be a head coach. Hes sort of a poor mans Norv Turner, because lets face it Norv is a much better OC then Caldwell is. I think hes still living off the success he had under Dungy and Peyton, and Dungys reputation. I suspect if Dungy was asked who hed recommend, hed pick his good ol buddy Jim. its a promotion, more money, thats what wed all do. Thats how the NFL/life works. The only loosers in this are unfortunately Lions fans.

  104. Remember when Caldwell interviewed for the Washington job and everyone on here claimed he was just a Rooney Rule interview?

    …yeah. Like him or hate, it’s time to man up and admit you were wrong.

  105. As I stared at his picture I noticed it blink.. well that’s no still frame, that’s fifteen minutes of footage.. fifteen minutes straight of stupid all over his face.

  106. Huh ummm mmmm ah hmmmm….
    So the human deer in headlights gets probably the best opening in years .
    I just can’t seem to wrap my head around how this guy was ever even considered for another gig after the complete and utter failure in Indy then the huge drop off this year in Baltimore,What did they see on tape that made them say let’s get this guy on the phone was it the respect for the overrated Dungy???
    I’m just completely lost how you lose out on Whis and end up with an absolutely horrible football coach

  107. I guess he deserves another HC opportunity just as much as the other retreads. However, I don’t get the impression that having a calm demeanor will translate to a more disciplined team. Not an impressive list of coaching candidates this year, but Caldwell seemed to be the least impressive in my opinion. Zimmer or Wisenhunt seem to be the best of the remaining candidates out there.

  108. Isn’t this the same Jim Caldwell who took over, midseason, as Ravens’ OC; then proceeded to make Joe Flacco look like a franchise, on the way of winning the Super Bowl?

    However, he is the worst hire ever? I agree that Wisenhunt may have been a better hire for the Lions, however Jim Caldwell should be a solid hire.

    Beside, he isn’t a Belichick understudy, so we can’t make it a foregone conclusion that he’s destined to be a horrible head coach 😉

  109. As a Raven’s fan, I am not glad to see Caldwell go. Why? This past season was a season of great change-losing players; bringing in new coaches with new schemes etc. Caldwell is a good coach. People forget that the Ravens got hot with him and won a SB ring. I think he will bring stability to the Detroit team. That club lacks professionalism at times with all the stupid penalties. He will insure that the Lions act like pros and assume responsibility for their jobs. He may be just what Matthew Stafford needs. If you do not believe me just ask Peyton Manning.

  110. Lol to that guy who said “come on guys, he’s better than Trestman.” Give us a break. He’s not even close.

  111. Joe “50/50 JumpBall” Flacco will have 3 OC’s in 14 months.


    , #regress, #talenthaspeaked, #noplayoffs
    #Steelerswillwinthedivision, #bungleshadtheirchance

  112. This is a good hire , this kat knows his stuff on the offensive side of the ball and he went to multiple super bowls, So he has the experience . No question the colts DID HIM WRONG when they didn’t even let him COACH with a actual real QB in Andrew luck.

    Which coach in this world was going to win anything with Curtis freakin painter.

  113. Wow are Pft readers ignorant of the actual facts.

    Caldwell went 2-14 when Peyton went down with a neck injury. How did The Packers do without their superstar QB?

    Who developed Peyton Manning? Jim Caldwell.

    Caldwell call the offence for 2 SuperBowl winning teams and one SuperBowl appearance.

    Ravens offense was bad this year because of a depleted OL and receiving core. They couldn’t run and their Wr and TES were so depleted they had to sign Dallas Clarke.

    Caldwell not only got an endorsement from Dungy but also Peyton Manning.

    Give him a chance and Stafford could be an elite QB.

  114. Lions fans just relax, your team probably has the most talent for a team that missed the playoffs, your offense under performed big time and your defense was undisciplined, your team could easily be 10-6 or better next year if his calm demeanor rubs off on the players

  115. Look also at the timeline. Caldwell was talking to the Lions all yesterday. Wiz was the second choice. Wiz took the job in Tennessee because he wasn’t getting the Lions job.

  116. From all indications he’s a great human being and I wish him the best in Detroit. Who knows, his calm demeanor may be just what that team of infants needs.

    Having said that, as a Ravens fan I’m delighted that he’s gone. He’s not the only reason the offense was awful (most of the blame goes to the offensive line) but his playcalling was awful.

  117. For those of you who keep bringing up the 3 SB’s Caldwell has been a part of…..2 as OC, and 1 as HC…..I just don’t get it. Who really thinks as OC/HC of the Colts he had anything to do with this offense? We all know Peyton Manning calls his own plays!!! Caldwell probably ran over to the printer to tear off the pics of the aerial formation shots and handed them to Manning, that’s about it……And as OC of the Ravens last year, he kept Cam Camerons playbook since it was so late in the season. This year he brought in his own playbook, and look what happened!!!! Oh wait, I forgot about the “Sugar Huddle”….LOL!!!

  118. I would only say that given the history of this organization you could see this coming … I don’t mean to disparage Caldwell but I was hoping for more.
    I’m guessing money had a lot to do with this hire, with the Ford’s having to pay Schwartz 12 million on his remaining deal.
    I just don’t see Caldwell as the kind of guy that is going to take the Lions to the next level, sorry.
    I’m guessing he came cheap … and we can expect another 5 years of mediocrity.

  119. Based on public opinion alone, the Lions should probably retract their offer to Caldwell. Their fans have been beaten down for too long for the Lions to screw this up so badly. It’s clear there is no one running this team that knows the first thing about football. Reminds me of a certain owner in Dallas.

  120. I love all of the Ravens fans in here absolving Joe Flacco of his horrible year and hanging that albatross around Caldwell’s neck.

  121. 1st year as HC – 13-3 went to SB
    2nd year – 10-6 lost 1st (because of his TO)
    3rd year – 2-14 fired


    Took over as OC 1/2 through the year – won SB
    1st year as full time OC – missed playoffs

    Ladies and gentlemen, that is what you call regression.

  122. You all are ridiculous!

    This guy has had an excellent NFL coaching career.

    I am really shocked an these ungrateful Ravens’ fans!

  123. Look at how many thought that Carroll was going to be a bust in Seattle. You simply don’t know what will come out of this. Caldwell may prove to be the hire of the century. Personally, I would’ve tried to get Schiano or Kubiak, two guys who needed a change of scenery, but are the no-nonsense kind of coaches that the likes of Suh and Megatron, need the most.

    Maybe Caldwell, will be as well. Only time will tell. After the disastrous end to this season, one in which the Lions “looked” like they were going to grab the Division title, what have you got to lose?

  124. Oh come on people. Weren’t you paying attention? When there is a ready made team full of pro-bowl level talent and even a future hall of famer on board, Caldwell is a great coach! Look at Indy when he first took over! He did just fine. So I suspect he’ll do just fine in Detroit as well where the team is already in place and Caldy doesn’t need to do much of anything. Of course, in a year or two when he actually puts his own stamp on the team through an off-season or two….well then we get the ‘suck for luck’ scenario where Caldwell tanks a season on purpose and craps on the integrity of the game. For now, rejoice Lions fans! For a season anyway, you should do alright.

  125. This is coming from a Bengals fan who keeps checking twitter every 30 minutes hoping the Vikings do something stupid… but Lions really missed the boat not going after Zimmer. He would have been a perfect fit for this team. I think he would’ve gotten the most out of Suh and with impact guys up front, he’s shown he can find and coach up DB talent. Plus with Stafford, Bush and Calvin Johnson – it would’ve been a great environment for a traditionally defensive minded coach. Those guys just need a change in attitude/atmosphere. The talent is there, but Zimmer would’ve brought the focus and attitude. It’s a shame. I think Detroit would have been a great fit for Zim.

    That said, hope Vikings vomit on themselves and try to get cute. As much as I hate myself for it, Bengals need one more year of a pissed off at the league coach Zim if they want to get over the hump… otherwise things could get ugly.

  126. Clueless Caldwell.

    Don’t worry. He’ll be fired in two years along with Martin Mayhew. Just hold your nose until then.

  127. As a Ravens fan I look forward to catching the first Lions game next year when Caldwell takes to the sidelines, casts his steady stare of determined resolve across the battlefield, and bellows to his troops, “Huh?”.

  128. This is a terrible hire. He comes off as meek, and this team needs a stern leader. I think they would have been better off with Swartz for another year….

  129. Good hire…Caldwell will be a better HC the second time around, his resume as OC, he won two SB and went to a third as HC…..this guy has talent, hey Detroit fans don’t hate on this guy he will have you guys fighting for a division title with GB real soon…..

  130. I don’t know how Caldwell will be in Detroit, but I do know he is not as bad of coach as people are painting out to be. He coached the Colts to 14-2 his first year and a SB appearance. Sure he had Peyton Manning, but if he was such a terrible coach, there’s no way you get to the SB. 10-6 the next season, then 2-14. His Qbs were Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter, and Dan Orvlosky along with an atrocious roster. The team was built around Manning, and the defense was small and only built to play with the lead. Please tell me who could have done better with that team? Just because he doesn’t do cartwheels on the sidelines doesn’t mean he is a bad coach.

  131. Lions Execs gave Schwartzy a good firm handshake and a slap on the back on his way out the door.

    I wonder if Caldwell has enough “maturity” to get in Badonkadonk Suh’s face the next time he stomps on a guy…

  132. This is a testament to the greatness of the Ravens. You won’t hear the phones ringing in the coaches’ offices in Pittsburgh except when Rooney calls looking for someone to pick up his dry cleaning.

  133. The HC can’t be a stoic. He must project positive energy on the sidelines on game day… and during the workweek.

    I’d rate Caldwell as a Joe Philbin….both need to take their Ensure Plus intravenously.

  134. Free advice for Loins fans:

    Don’t judge so early.

    I remember when the Packers hired Mike McCarthy and everyone was distraught they had not scooped up Col. Klink instead.

    One Super Bowl and four straight division titles later, that choice looks pretty good.

  135. hm…interesting decision here. i get the maturity and discipline thing…but just can’t see Caldwell winning a championship with detroit.

    best of luck to the Lions, you never know

  136. Lions fan. Caldwell might be an offensive genious, and I hope he is. But he has the stench of affirmative action on him. Would he be interviewed and hired if not for his race? Who knows? And that sucks.

  137. Wow, you guys are really racists. Outside of Lovie Smith. He was the most “qualified” based on his resume. He won two Super Bowls as an assistant coach and lead his team to a Super Bowl as a head coach. Only someone either stupid or racist would base Caldwell’s entire NFL coaching career on a year he had to rely on a journeyman qb to lead his team when Manning got hurt and this past year after the Ravens got rid of a star wr and lost a Hall of Fame offensive lineman his offense didn’t have many stars.

  138. calilion says:
    Jan 14, 2014 8:06 PM
    Lions fan. Caldwell might be an offensive genious, and I hope he is. But he has the stench of affirmative action on him. Would he be interviewed and hired if not for his race? Who knows? And that sucks.

    Hey Calihion, (or should we call you Deliverance), your post has the stench of stupid on it. By the way, it’s spelled “g-e-n-i-o-u-s.”

  139. The Colts for quite sometime didn’t even bother to support Manning with an OL. It took an injury to Manning before supporting the OL with a high pick which usually went to defense even if it was a reach.

    Now depending on what kind of grip the owners have, he has now the experience to do a good job as head coach and just might be ready for success.

    We will know something about this by the staff he put together and most importantly his draft and free agents added.

  140. Man, this has been one of the most hilarious threads to read in PFT in a long time.

    And with regard to doing “cartwheels on the sidelines”, heck, I would settle for a simple “attaboy”, “come on”, or just showing the tiniest nanoparticle of emotion. Maybe we´re all wrong, but when you are standing there for three hours giving the impression of being completely clueless and indifferent to what´s going on in the field, it doesn´t sound like Head Coaching should be your line of business…

  141. The decision makers are the same decision makers that kept Millen around. The Caldwell selection represents a total disregard for common sense. Mayhew continues to demonstrate his incompetence! I’m guessing that the third world city of Detroit didn’t appeal to a lot of up and coming coaching candidates!

  142. The Ravens offense went down because they failed to realize the importance of Mr. Boldin. He was their real ace and with him gone no one stepped up. Defenses keyed on Ray Rice. To say Caldwell was the reason is just mind boggling. But Detroit has more weapons for his style of offense to work. Let’s see how this pans out. #HTTR

  143. Did the Lions not WATCH him coach?

    The guy is clueless and, as such, is a great fit for Detroit: A City that kept electing corrupt Democrat politicians despite the obvious examples of fraud and societal collapse that those politicians were creating.

    There is no Manning to do the coaching for him in Detroit — BET THE UNDER ON WINS FOR THE YEAR.

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