According to sources, Jim Caldwell will coach his final game for the Detroit Lions on Sunday as the Motor City will start the search for a new head coach.
The Detroit Lions enter the final week of the 2017 NFL regular season with little on the line. After a disappointing loss at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend, the Lions are no longer in playoff contention. And according to one NFL insider, that loss has triggered some major changes within the organization.
Since being hired in January of 2014 as the Lions’ head coach, Jim Caldwell has taken Detroit to the playoffs two times in four seasons. Unfortunately, the two-time Super Bowl winner has been unable to led the Lions to a postseason victory as of yet. And apparently, the 62-year old head coach will not get that chance again.
"“Coach Jim Caldwell is expected to coach his last game for Detroit on Sunday, sources say,” reported NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on NFL.com Saturday night. “When Detroit missed the playoffs, his fate was almost certainly sealed. When the job becomes open, keep an eye on Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, a hire that would allow the Lions to keep the offensive side of the ball mostly in place.”"
It appears to be an unfortunate end for a coach who has won 35 of his 63 total games (.556) while at the helm of the Lions. And Caldwell nearly led them to the postseason for the third time out of his four years in Detroit.
If this news is true, the search for a new head coach in the Motor City begins soon. And New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has an obvious connection with the Lions, along with Pats’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Detroit’s general manager, Bob Quinn, spent several seasons in New England before joining the Lions in 2016.
It would only make sense the Quinn would love to bring in his own head coach to led the Lions. And both Patricia and McDaniels are obvious candidates to do so. But as mentioned by Rapoport, adding a defensive-minded head coach would allow Detroit to keep their offense in place. And that presumably means keeping Jim Bob Cooter on as offensive coordinator.
But there is also an argument to be made that the Detroit Lions actually need a more offensive-minded coach in the position as a more balanced attack would help both sides of the ball as well as lengthen quarterback Matthew Stafford‘s career. And right now, Detroit has the worst rushing attack in the NFL. Bringing in an offensive guru who could ignite the Lions’ rushing offense could be the key to postseason success in Detroit.