Lions coach Jim Caldwell can’t feel very secure in his job heading into Sunday’s game in London, but whether he’s actually on the hot seat is something only Lions owner Martha Ford knows.
Ford, who took over the Lions last year after the death of her husband, the longtime Lions owner William Clay Ford, will ultimately decide whether Caldwell stays or goes. And Ford has said and done nothing to give anyone on the outside any indications of her thoughts. Perhaps Ford will prove to be as patient as her husband, who stuck with former Lions President Matt Millen and former Lions coach Wayne Fontes far longer than most people thought he should have. Or perhaps Ford will show that she doesn’t tolerate losing and fire Caldwell on the flight home if the Lions drop to 1-7 in London.
Before this season, Ford made one of her rare comments to the media and told reporters that she thinks Caldwell is a “wonderful coach.” But that was when Caldwell was coming off a playoff appearance in his first season in Detroit. She may have a different opinion after watching Caldwell’s team lose week after week.
Caldwell said on Monday that he would make no changes to his coaching staff, then announced a few hours later that he had fired three of his assistants. That strongly suggests that someone high up in the Lions organization informed Caldwell that if he didn’t make changes, his own job would be in jeopardy.
On Sunday we’ll see if the changes Caldwell made can reinvigorate his offense. If not, Ford may decide that the coaching staff needs a change at the top.