Despite an early vote of confidence, Detroit Lions’ head coach Jim Caldwell should now be on the hot seat in the Motor City.
Breaking news concerning the Detroit Lions this weekend centered primarily on head coach Jim Caldwell’s contract extension. Signed in secret, with details never released until a “source” close to the team revealed them over the weekend, the contract seemed to be a huge vote of confidence for the fourth-year coach in the Motor City.
Obviously, since the contract details weren’t released, it left much to speculation for fans. The popular wisdom was that Caldwell’s contract—given that he has the highest winning percentage of Lions head coaches in the modern era—would be a long-term deal.
That all changed upon the details released over the weekend. Barring an undefeated run to close the season and an unlikely Wild Card bid—followed by a playoff win—and Caldwell will be unemployed come January.
The good news for Caldwell is that the Lions squeaked out a win over a bad Tampa Bay team this weekend, leaving the door open for the unlikely scenario to take place.
The bad news is that the Lions not only need to be perfect the rest of the year, but also need help in order to make the playoffs.
The worse news is that the Lions can’t seem to get out of their own way, something that we’ve seen happen over the past handful of weeks. If our coach was indeed worth saving, those problems—the slow starts, the invisible running game, the terrible offensive line play, and the horrendous run defense—would have been coached away. At the very least, those glaring weaknesses would have been minimized through coaching. Nothing has changed, though.
The worst news for Caldwell, though? The big bully is going to be coming back. Yes, that’s right—Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers may be coming back from a broken collarbone. And the Lions could see him in Week 17.
Even if Detroit plays perfect and win the next two games—both winnable, by the way, against the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals—they may still have to face the biggest Lion killer in the world, and for what could be Coach Caldwell’s coaching life.
Maybe a possible Rodger’s return isn’t the worst news for Jim Caldwell, actually. Maybe it’s that, in spite of an extra year’s vote of confidence, Caldwell couldn’t muster enough to get one extra win over the past few weeks.
Here’s hoping that the walls can be cleaned off.