William Clay Ford: Jim Caldwell fit “specific plan and profile”


The Lions settled on their new head coach on Tuesday, hiring Jim Caldwell to take over the job that opened when Jim Schwartz was fired after the end of the regular season.

The team announced that they will formally introduce Caldwell at a 4 p.m. ET press conference on Wednesday and team owner William Clay Ford released a statement about the hiring on Tuesday afternoon.

“On behalf on my entire family, I want to express how thrilled we are with the appointment of Jim Caldwell as our new head coach,” Ford said. “We believe Jim is the right man to lead our team and deliver a championship to our fans. I also want to commend [team president] Tom [Lewand] and [General Manager] Martin [Mayhew] on the thoroughness of the coaching search. We had a very specific plan and profile for our next head coach, and I am convinced that we found that man in Jim Caldwell.”

That specific profile is outlined on the team’s website, which highlights Caldwell’s experience as a head coach with a background on the offensive side of the ball. There are also references to the ringing endorsement of Caldwell given by Tony Dungy, who called Caldwell a “great match” for a team talented enough to go to the Super Bowl.

121 responses to “William Clay Ford: Jim Caldwell fit “specific plan and profile”

  1. That picture says it all about Caldwell. That look of bewilderment, confusion, a complete lack of confidence and conviction. Good OC, not a good head coach.

    On behalf of the rest of the NFC North, thank you Lions for maintaining the low level of quality we’ve come to expect from you for decades!

  2. Yawn. I know I’m not the only one bored by this hire. Sorry Lions fans. The Vikings haven’t even decided who they are going to hire yet but I already like their choice more than Caldwell. Although only time will tell…

  3. No offense, but when will this guy die. I am really anticipating a Dollar-Bill Wurtz situation (re Chicago Blackhawks) when he does.

  4. I haven’t been a big fan of WCF’s “Specific plan and profile” for the last 5 decades, so this statement scares me.

    I’ll still cheer for the Lions on Sunday, but I am underwhelmed at this moment.

  5. The more I read about these teams who are basically hiring new coaches every 2-3 years, the more I appreciate my guy Coughlin. Also, the more thankful I am that I root for a team that knows the importance of stability.

    I wish Caldwell the best but seriously, does anybody view this guy as a “championship” caliber head coach? I know the Lions are out of control and needed a level head, but they probably would have been better off with a guy like Rob Ryan.

  6. Isn’t this the same head coach who prevented the Colts from possibly going 16-0, and possibly 19-0 by pulling Manning in the Jets game?

    The same guy who thought Curtis Painter was a suitable back up for the season Manning was hurt, and stuck with Painter for 13 straight losses before starting Orlovsky?

    The same guy who took a SB offense from two years ago and turned them into the 29th ranked offense in the NFL?

    The Lions actually did the Ravens a favor by taking this guy off there hands.

  7. Wow he really did say the words “Right man to lead our team and deliver a championship to our fans.” I was wondering whether he’d try to convince everyone that this was the coach they wanted all along.

    If this is the best we can do, they should sell the team now.

  8. The man had the guts to have his team tank the final games so he didn’t have the pressure of a perfect season, and then Peyton took the Colt’s to the super bowl where Sean Payton easily showed fandom the difference between a competent and incompetent coach.

  9. I am at a loss. the man was 26-63 as a college head coach.

    The man rode the momentum of Tongy Dungy and the play of Peyton Manning to a Super Bowl loss (where he was out coached so badly I felt bad for his family) his first year, then presided over a 4 game regression his second season and 7 game further regression in his 3rd year.

    He rode a Cam Cameron built offense to a Super Bowl and a 16th overall ranking and then presided over an offense that plunged to 29th the following season.

    I’m not saying he is doomed to fail, but how on earth is this the resume of someone who is an attractive hire?

  10. Where is Art Shell when you need a good coordinator who is an average on his best day HC? I know that Caldwell is credited with taking the Ravens moribund offense to the Super Bowl, but since then, he made no adjustments to help the Ravens and both Rice and Pierce were almost as bad as their line… historically bad. That is not the kind of momentum one would think could propel a resume to the top of the heap. Then again, the real issue could well be that their former coach was an undisciplined tool that went Schwartz whenever he wanted to, which led his players to do the same, on and off the field. Perhaps this is more about tone and consistency than proven innovation.

  11. Don’t see how he could be a whole lot worse than Schwartz.

    That said he used the same offensive plan with the Ravens that he use with the Colts. Throw the long bomb and 2/3 of the time get a catch or PI, repeat over and over with occasional shorter throws and runs.

  12. Its always hard to guess what to feel when a team hires a coach.

    I don’t recall GB being too excited when McCarthy got hired.

    It takes time, and Caldwell also had one of the worst starting QBs in NFL history.

    It can’t be worse than one more year of Schwartz I would imagine.

  13. I wish him luck but I wonder wth is going on in Detroit, they sure seem like they’re stuck in a “learn as we go along” time loop. This has been going on way too long.

  14. I love all these straight idiots on every single topic related to this who say “no coach wants to live in Detroit”. Dumbest thing I have ever heard. I don’t care what city it is there are ritzy gated communities. These guys aren’t living in the projects. Plus, these dudes live at their practice facilities. Get a clue. Geography plays nothing into these decisions.

  15. Rich Kotite also fits the plan and profile…unfortunately the Lions couldn’t convince him to sign

  16. Mr. Ford must have read all the negative post when this appointment was announced.

    He is trying to head off the heavily negative reaction that is snowballing down hill with a full head of steam.

    I give up. From now on, I’m a Packer fan.

    I’ll have to find a new name on the GB site…

  17. I wonder if he’ll use his offensive prowess to completely take Calvin Johnson out of the game like he did Ray Rice? Literally, the worst hire I’ve ever seen. I was actually surprised he even got a chance to be an OC again.

  18. I have some pull with the media, so look in the future for a march for new ownership. Ford needs to sell the team and us fans are fed up.

  19. Mr. Ford says what every manager of a bureaucracy says. It’s a written, expected response. What’s he gonna say? Well, we wanted Wiz, but we missed out, so we’re content to have Caldwell? Can’t say that.

    But this team is an embarrassment. I don’t trust a thing they do, and unfortunately it’ll be another season of expecting a loss every week, even with a 2 score lead with less than 5 minutes remaining in the game. Until the buzzer goes off and the lions are somehow ahead of the other team, I will assume they will collapse. It’s just what they do. They make every wrong decision possible.

  20. he has a better record as a hc than whiz. 2 sb rings as a oc and 1 appearance[lost] as a coach. better than whiz in every way. baltmore did nothing their sb year till he was oc. than they cut all offence to pay for the hack qb, don’t blame the oc. bettr than minn will do and much better than chic,

  21. Don’t judge his football skills by his demeanor. You’re not in the meetings and game planning sessions. How did that fiery personality of Rex Ryan work out for you?

  22. I’ve got to hand it to Caldwell, his record at Wake Forest makes Schiano’s at Rutgers look like the Second Coming of Bear Bryant. Football is rapidly perfecting the art of failing upward.

  23. phew- I’m a Vikes fan, I was afraid the Lions were going to get a good coach! Glad Wisenhunt didn’t end up in Detroit! Way to be cheap Lions!

  24. I’m busy wiping off the coffee I spewed all over my wide-screen monitor after reading Ford’s announcement. And I’m a Vikings fan.

  25. One way to test the quality of the hire is to gauge the sorrow expressed by the fans and players from which the new coach departed — and I hear either crickets or shouts of joy from the fans of this guy’s old team. Conversely, there’s a bunch of sorrow expressed over Wisenhunt, Gruden and even Zimmer.

  26. Jim Caldwell was within 30 seconds of being a Super Bowl winning Head Coach. He made the postseason during two of his three seasons. Then, after he got fired, he went to Baltimore and eventually became a Super Bowl winning Offensive Coordinator. Not sure exactly where all the scorn is coming from but most teams in the league could do far worse.

    Help me understand how people can be excited about Ken Whisenhunt – who has a worse win/loss record than Caldwell – gets hired but be critical of this. Whisenhunt, like Caldwell, almost won a Super Bowl with a HOF quarterback but then got fired after taking after the QB left the team. Why is Whisenhunt’s hiring a great move while Caldwell’s is considered a subpar hire. Why??

  27. How about letting the guy coach a game before dissing this hire. I’m glad to see him gone as OC, but he coached a team to the Super Bowl it takes more than just talent on a team to do that in the NFL.

  28. Wait a minute. Something is wrong here. I didn’t see one worthless packer “trying” to slam the vikes for once. You all taking your naps or what. You let this story go, how come? You’re on every other non vikes story. Guess I’d better go trough these posts again, had to have missed it.

  29. Even if you think he deserved another shot at being a head coach, the Lions are a horrible spot for him. They have zero discipline and he’s not going to get in anybody’s face to get them in line. They’ve got talent right now but their window is going to be closed by the time Caldwell’s tenure is done.

  30. Relax, Lions fans. Caldwell will win more games than Whisenhunt over the next four years.

    The Lions will make the playoffs this year and all the handwringing will go away.

  31. Let’s see, in the last 5yrs he won a super bowl as OC in Indy, went to the SB and lost as a HC, and won another SB as OC in Baltimore, name another coach with that type of resume…..good hire, probably the best coaching hire this yr……

  32. In other profiling news, the NFL will not allow Rob Ryan to be a Head Coach until he cuts his hair. That is wrong- let him be himself.

  33. How many retread coaches with losing track records get jobs. A qualified candidate gets one and we pull out the Rooney Rule crap. This is not an affirmative action hire. And he has class.

  34. Ford went on to say “We needed someone who can keep things quiet, real quiet. We wanted to hire a mannequin but we didn’t think the players could rally around that. In the end, we got the man we wanted.”

  35. Yes dungy – you, Caldwell, & Leslie Frazier can all hold hands and sing kumbaya together and watch paint dry for excitement

  36. Stick to cars Mr Ford. You and your family have proven to be clueless when it comes to professional football.

  37. WCF is a FOOL!!! Just admit that you are a loser and that you have no clue what you are doing! 50+ years of losing…Really???

  38. If they think that coaching matters so little that this guy can be your head coach, why get rid of the old guy?

  39. Is there another Manning available to RUN his offense. Not in Detroit, I didn’t think so. 4-5 wins is pretty routine in Detroit.

  40. The more I think about this, the more it makes sense. I think Caldwell will have this team in the playoffs next season, and seriously contending for a ring the season after that.

    Mayhew and the team president better do their jobs in the offseason to make sure Caldwell has the resources at his disposle. As long as he has a strong roster, Caldwell can create a winner.

  41. So they low balled Whisenhunt huh. and then come out and say Caldwell was there guy. Ya right. They panicked today and said lets get someone dammit.
    Could have waited and gotten some very good talent, coaches actually still coaching right now on teams that are winners.
    The curse is still on. It has to be the curse. Anyone who works in Lions management loses there ability to rationalize. Fontes? Morningwag? Schwart? Joe Scmidt? McMillan?
    QB’s so pathetic no one can remember their names.

  42. For as bad of a hire that Matt Millen was at GM, this guy might be worse as a head coach.

    Thank God it’s the Lions. Its almost like you can depend on them to screw up. Sort of like the Vikings in a playoff game.

  43. Honestly, I hope this guy works out for the Lions, division rivals or not. I’ve been to Detroit numerous times, I know people from Detroit, I live across the river. The people there need something good to hold onto. They’ve lost enough, I’d like them to have something nice for once.

    Win a Super Bowl soon and bring some joy back to that city, it’d be good for these two auto cities.

  44. Of course Caldwell fit a specific plan. He fit the we aren’t going to pay $1 million more dollars per year to Wisenhunt plan.

  45. If you’re plan and profile is producing a mediocre product then he’s your guy. If he didn’t luck out and have Peyton manning on his team he would probably be a towel man or out of the league

  46. I have been watching the lions for over 40 years, which is older the almost all of the posters here . As I’m not crazy about the pick, it is the best coach and players the lions have had since I can remember. And over the last 5 years they have gone in the right direction getting rid of players that come here to retire or want to play half ass. So I guess just have to wait and see. It really can’t get any worse!

  47. Thanks Again Dungy for backing a cardboard cut out of a coach. Dungy also backed Frazier.

    As a man Frazier seems like a great person and maybe Caldwell is also but,,,,,,,,,,,

    1. When your team is stooling all over the field you want your coach to have more input than nothing during the game and after the game it’s,,,,,,,,,,,,,let’s look at the tape and see what we can improve.

    The Jedi Mind Trick Coaching method only works when you have Peyton Manning or equal QB running the team.

  48. At the end of the day who wants to move to Detroit. I’d rather live in Des Moines.

    Maybe Obama can bail out the lions.

  49. Schwartz didn’t have a “clueless look” on his face, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t clueless. Other coaches don’t have expression on their faces either, but win.

  50. I can’t understand how so many posters are dissing Caldwell because of his facial expression. When Schwartz showed animation (ala Jim Harbaugh), he was slammed for being “too emotional.” When he didn’t show expression, he was too intellectual. I don’t care if Caldwell never cracks a grin or scowls 24/7, so long as he reigns in the undisciplined bunch of players in Detroit. It was the players’ ineptitude during 7 of the last 8 games and Schwartz’s inability or unwillingness to discipline his players that cost the Lions the NFC North and Schwartz his job.

    Don’t forget, the Lions also fired Scott Lenahan (sp?) the OC as well as the QB coach. I don’t know if Peyton Manning’s OC from the Colts (Tom Moore?) is still around. Let’s see who Caldwell picks for those roles, and what he does with Gunny as DC and what the Lions do with the draft in May.

    Given the talent on the roster, I don’t expect the Fords will give Caldwell a long time to get to the “promised land”. If they have another losing season in ’14 with Stafford, Suh, Fairley, Ansah, Megatron, Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, etc., I expect Caldwell will join Chudzinski as a one year term coach.

    I haven’t seen anything about the offers the Lions or the Titans made to either Wizz or to Caldwell, so the idea of the Fords getting cheap with their offers is unsubstantiated. WC Ford bought the Lions the day JFK was shot in Dallas, and he’ll be 89 in March. He wants a Superbowl ring more than anything, so I don’t expect he low-balled anyone.

    Finally, who else is out there? The Lions couldn’t make an offer to Wizz until this week, and the Titans beat them to the punch. Lovie Smith signed with the Bucs. Neither Dungy, John Gruden, nor Bill Cowher are interested in leaving the broadcasting booth to coach again. Let the man coach a few games before you get out the pitchforks and torches.

  51. All-American Voltron says:
    Jan 14, 2014 4:37 PM
    That picture says it all about Caldwell. That look of bewilderment, confusion, a complete lack of confidence and conviction. Good OC, not a good head coach.

    On behalf of the rest of the NFC North, thank you Lions for maintaining the low level of quality we’ve come to expect from you for decades!

    You know nothing about Caldwell, loser.

  52. OMG!!! This was the best head coaching vacancy available!!!! And the worst head coaching hire. The window for a Super Bowl was WIDE open. It just slammed shut. Sorry Lions fans:( I feel for ya

  53. Isn’t this the same head coach who prevented the Colts from possibly going 16-0, and possibly 19-0 by pulling Manning in the Jets game?

    No he wasn’t responsible for that actually although I hate the hire as a lions fan. That would be chris polians fault.

  54. I couldn’t believe when I heard that Jim Caldwell was even getting head coaching interviews, let alone him actually being hired! See you in 2016 Lions fans!

  55. if y’all think running a championship caliber football team is easy, try running one of the largest, oldest and most successful corporations in the world. just sayin… the ford’s aren’t idiots, just loyal to a fault. jeez, look at the pinto and edsel.

  56. idk – I’m a little worried.

    Our team has been living off of Stafford’s Romo Tricks.

    If Caldwell can make Curtis Painter and Jumpball Joe look decent, then …blah.

  57. that is the whole problem with this organization. they have a plan and stick to it no matter how lame the candidates that fir into that plan.

    the organization should have realized that the specific plan sucked in relation to available coaches. they should change the plan and think outside the box.

    terrible terrible hire and coach and the off-season is the worst i can remember. no hope for next year. poor calvin johnson 😦

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