The Detroit Lions are facing the most critical juncture of this decade. If they get this next coaching hire right, they may very well vault themselves up among the best teams in the league. If they get it wrong and waste the best years of the great young nucleus they have assembled, they’ll have wasted another decade trying to figure out how to be a winner. This franchise has all the tools to be a Super Bowl team, it just needs to find the right man to drive the bus.
Apparently, the Lions feel that Jim Caldwell is the man to sit behind the wheel in the most important hire this team has made in a long time. We’ve seen this team grow from nothing, 0-16 in 2008, to 10-6 in 2011 and a brief playoff visit, then flounder the last two years with late season flameouts despite a very talented roster. Caldwell is being handed the keys to a very nice bus, but one that for whatever reason, keeps breaking down.
For the first time in my lifetime, the Detroit Lions have a roster that can compete with the big boys. They had a similar type of roster in the 90′s; the only difference being that we now have a top flight quarterback in Matthew Stafford compared to Scott Mitchell. The Lions have a chance to shoot right to the top. The talent on this team takes a back seat to no one but that hasn’t translated into enough wins. The offensive and defensive lines are both young and talented. The quarterback has a rocket launcher for an arm, but needs some fine tuning. It’s all there for Jim Caldwell to win big and become a legend in this town.
I’m pretty sure Caldwell is going to be the opposite of the last coach. Can you imagine what the Lions will look like with some stability at the head coach position, not someone who’s trying to prove that he’s “Not scared?” Judging from the comments of the fans from other teams, nobody wants to see a disciplined Detroit Lions. They want the Same Old Lions back, so they can pencil in that W on the schedule when it comes out in April.
It’s obvious to everybody that Ken Whisenhunt was their first choice and he spurned them for the Tennessee Titans. Considering their history with their first choices over the years, I’m not bothered at all that they hired their second choice in Caldwell. The other way hasn’t worked out so well.
The Lions brass HAS to get this right. I’ve said before that this is the team I’ve waited my whole life for, and they’re just sitting on that bus making a lot of noise. It’s time for Jim Caldwell to step onto that bus, clear his throat, and yell at them to settle down. Then he’ll make it clear that he will demand their respect and that party time is over. Then he’s going to drive that bus to the promise land – I hope.