Detroit Lions: Why the case to fire Jim Caldwell is growing
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell’s seat is getting hot, this could be his last season. The case for Bob Quinn to find a new coach is growing.
There is a lot of pressure on Detroit Lions‘ head coach Jim Caldwell this season, and it’s growing as the Lions offense shows signs of struggling this preseason. If the Lions don’t make the post season this year, general manager Bob Quinn will most likely move on and choose his first head coach since taking the front office job in Detroit.
Caldwell came into the job in 2014 with the plan to “fix” quarterback Matthew Stafford‘s turnover rate and bring the Lombardi trophy to Detroit. In his first season, he was able to take the team to a wild-card berth, but they fell short of a win in Dallas. Also, Stafford has lowered his total interceptions per season, especially since offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter took over for former offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.
While former head coach Jim Schwartz was able to pull the Lions out of the slump of the 0-16 season in 2008, Caldwell has taken the Lions to the next step to be a contender in the NFC North but is he enough to bring the Lions their first championship since 1957.
This season is a contract year for Caldwell and while he does have the best winning record of a multi season coach since Joe Schmidt in the late ’60s, he could be removed if it looks like he can’t get the team their first playoff win since 1991.
The team probably will renew his contract if they qualify for the post season again this year, even if it is for a loss. The team really loves to play under him, going to bat for him in 2015 when owner Martha Ford fired Lombardi and most of the front office including former general manager Martin Mayhew and former team president Tom Lewand. But, if the Lions fall to third or fourth in the division Quinn will have a tough choice on his hands: extend Caldwell or get someone new.
The Lions are starting to get some positive coverage and real growth as a team. This will be very attractive to possible head coach candidates who are looking to take a team to the Super Bowl. Quinn’s connection with the New England Patriots might give him the inside track to poach offensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the mastermind behind their number one defense last season.
Jon Gruden is also hinting at coming back to the NFL as a coach, and with Tampa Bay seeming solid with their head coach Dirk Koetter Detroit could seem very attractive to the Super Bowl winning former coach.
Gruden came up as an offensive coach, going from tight-end, quarterback, and wide receiver coach to offensive coordinator then head coach of both the Oakland Raiders and then the Tampa Bay Bucs. He could help the Lions take a step to being an elite offense in the NFL.
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Those two candidates would have the best chances of taking the Lions to the Super Bowl above Jim Caldwell. Caldwell did take the Baltimore Ravens to the championship game, so he is capable of it. Lions’ fans will just have to watch the season progress and hope that the issues facing the team this preseason don’t bleed into the regular season.