Lions enjoying Jim Caldwell’s approach to the job


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.

26 responses to “Lions enjoying Jim Caldwell’s approach to the job

  1. Great that he’s “calm”, too bad he can’t coach his way out of a wet paper sack.

  2. Detroit has assembled alot of very good and some great players. Stafford has never had a grasp on playing the QB position, despite huge numbers. Caldwell will help him.

    The Suh and defensive issues are well documented. Caldwell is a welcome change from, what’s his name. My guess is he will put a much better team on the field this year.

    They have more overall talent than anyone in the NFCN.

  3. At worst Caldwell is better than Schwartz, coaching is not a screaming match as Schwartz seemed to think, his scheme and tactics were pathetic.

  4. He sounds a lot like Lovie Smith. No offense to Lovie, but I’m not sure that’s the kind of coach the Lions need right now.

  5. That’s the right approach, there’s no reason to yell if you set up a foundation properly in the first place. Here’s how everything works now, and we’re all on the same page, and we win according to the formula. It should be straightforward smooth sailing.

  6. Everyone knows the importance of keeping to a tight schedule for afternoon naps.

  7. The Lions played extremely well against the division last year (4-2) but couldn’t close at the end and it seemed like they put their entire season on the back of Stafford. If Caldwell and company can figure out a way to take some pressure off of #9 (better play calling and better mechanics that hold up under pressure) this team should win the division in 2014.

  8. The Lions lost more games, “above the shoulders”, than any team in football last year. If treating them like men, causes them to respond emotionally like men, then the bet pays off.

  9. Since Gym Shorts was and is only about 4 feet tall, most everything goes over his head too.

  10. Caldwell can’t help but be better than Schwartz, but he does sound a bit like Lovie. And while three playoff appearances in nine years (and a Super Bowl loss) ultimately didn’t cut it in Chicago, I’m sure folks in Detroit would be thrilled with that.

  11. “He didn’t look so over his head when they were 14-2”

    Yes, yes he did. Good, man, wish him well, but he was a horrible head coach the first time around, even at 14-2, he was a horrible head coach.

    I always see people say he took Indy to the Super Bowl, and the only way that statement has much merit is if he physically drove one of the buses from the hotel to the stadium.

    Schawartz wasn’t a great coach by any means, but at least he has some stones. Caldwell? not so much.

    If Vick is a coach killer, Manning is a coach creator.

  12. I still remember the times Peyton would stand on the field, shake his head and roll his eyes at a stupid call Caldwell had just made.

  13. Caldwell has surrounded himself with an up and coming OC/DC and both sides of the ball has a ton of talent. If he allows those guys to do their jobs and simply acts as the CEO of the team, the sky is the limit. Hated the hire at first but love the coaching team he put together.

  14. So, the Lions players are getting a longer leash when what they really needed is a choke collar. This should be interesting to watch.

  15. Lions fans will always blame the coach and never the players. In their minds they have the most talented team in the league and just need to “put it together” which means it’s the coach’s fault. Caldwell is doomed to fail when the Lions fail once again.

  16. Detroit has tried everything to get better and it just won’t happen. They can’t do anything right. The 0-16 season was embarrassing and after last seasons meltdown I don’t think I can ever take a Detroit football team or fan seriously.

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