Keeping Jim Caldwell may be for the best
By Mike Payton
As I’m sure most Detroit Lions fans know by now, Bob Quinn has decided to stick with Jim Caldwell as the team’s head coach.
There’s likely to be a ton of mixed reactions to this move today. After all the Lions went from a strong 11-5 finish in 2014, to a not so strong 7-9 in 2015. Many mistakes were made by the coaching staff during the team’s 7-9 start and some boiled over into their strong finish. The Hail Mary defense, the poor use of clock in St. Louis and declining use of Calvin Johnson comes to mind right off the bat.
While some may be angry about the move and feel that it’s a “same old Lions” type of decision, it may have been for the best in the end. Two factors that make this the right move stick out more than any other.
It’s really simple. Continuity means the Lions can come into 2016 with the same scheme and system they ended the 2015 on. The offense that improved so drastically after Jim Bob Cooter took over as Offensive Coordinator can continue to grow in that same direction. The defense is likely to get Teryl Austin back as well next season which bodes quite well for guys like Ansah and Slay.
The team can now focus on what they’ve known since Jim Caldwell has been in place and the scouting department along with Bob Quinn knows exactly what moves to make to put the right guys in place for this system. The players most importantly know what to expect when they show up for workouts in the summer. Speaking of the players.
Its pretty clear that the players on this team have a special bond with Jim Caldwell. Many spoke out after the season and gave their endorsement for their coach to stay on. Rashean Mathis even staked his retirement on whether or not Caldwell returned. Calvin Johnson may do the very same thing as well.
A bond may not seem like much to the untrained eye. But anyone who’s ever played sports knows what it’s like to have a bond and a high level of respect for your coach. You also know you will work yourself to the bone for that coach and your team will follow suit. It’s a powerful thing that’s so simplistic in the end.
In addition to the bond, players now won’t have to worry about learning their third different system in four years. Same goes with learning new personalities of a new coaching staff. I mentioned it earlier, players know what to expect when they show up for workouts. Now they can focus on getting back to work with a common goal in mind.
Only time will tell if this was the right move. But early reactions have been generally positive. What are your thoughts on the move?