Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 Jan 2014

Detroit Lions Hire Jim Caldwell Head Coach

Yeah, I'm not getting this one. We know that Caldwell made some decisions that helped turn around the Baltimore Ravens offense last year, which in turn helped lead to their Super Bowl run. However, that same offense then collapsed this year -- on the run, they collapsed so completely that they had one of the worst running games of all time. Caldwell went to a Super Bowl with the Colts, but we all agree he basically was carried there by Peyton Manning and all the leftover talent from the Dungy era, right? Bill Belichick took a team without Tom Brady and coached it to 11-5; Jim Caldwell took a team without Peyton Manning and coached it to 2-14. And we all remember he made some completely ridiculous game-management decisions, particularly in regards to timeouts.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 14 Jan 2014

91 comments, Last at 16 Jan 2014, 7:05pm by Alexander

Comments

1
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 2:09pm

At this point I'm almost rooting for the 49ers not to make the play-offs next year just so that our coaches can get a damned interview.

3
by Hurt Bones :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 2:14pm

Even if they were out of the playoffs neither would have been interviewed by Detroit, which restricted its candidates to those with previous head coaching experience.

5
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 2:16pm

Only interviewing people who have already been fired from head coaching jobs feels like a very Detroit thing to do.

9
by Will Allen :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 2:50pm

It beats holding out for interviews with test pilots who've spiraled in previously.

27
by Alexander :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 6:03pm

Man, I wish the Bears had awesome assistants that never got hired away.

Im sure Nick Saban and Urban Meyer feel the same way.

51
by dryheat :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 9:57am

Why? Enjoy them while you have them. Constantly losing competent assistants sucks.

As for the Lions, I'm surprised. I thought they would have hired someone who's alive.

2
by Swjeppe :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 2:10pm

"It's as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced."

7
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 2:22pm

Yes...the Detroit Lions franchise is a Death Star that blows up the hopes and aspirations of it's fan base.

4
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 2:15pm

It's probably a bad sign that my first response to this was laughter, right?

8
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 2:27pm

For me it was more like "well of course they did".

6
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 2:17pm

Sigh...

Well...(really trying to talk myself into liking this)...at least he won't ever try to fight Jim Harbuagh for an improperly-reciprocated handshake.....that's all I got.

I'm really at a loss to explain the logic behind this. Now excuse me while I go down an entire bottle of Celexa.

13
by James-London :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 3:26pm

At least it's not Matt Millen?

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

11
by Will Allen :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 2:56pm

I hope Jim Caldwell sends a check to Bryant Mckinnie, because Mckinnie decided to get his fat *ss off the couch for 8 weeks, and approximate a football player with a modicum of professionalism, thus allowing the Ravens to get better at 3 positions on the offensive line, and win a championship. Caldwell just made several million dollars from that minor miracle.

Sorry, Lions fans.

12
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 3:16pm

I'm currently going through the 7 stages of grief. 1st comes shock ("Jim Caldwell?!?! Are you serious!?!??") and denial ("Well maybe Caldwell isn't such a bad choice...maybe he had something to do with Flacco playing well in the Superbowl run).
In the final stage, acceptance and hope will be replaced with acceptance and apathy.

14
by Hurt Bones :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 3:26pm

Teryl Austin is expected to be named Lions defensive coordinator and Ron Prince offensive coordinator or assistant head coach.
I don't have an opinion on Prince, but I like Austin a lot. He's done a great job with the defensive backs.

26
by Hurt Bones :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 5:50pm

Drat! Looks like Caldwell is hiring Bill Lazor for OC. I was kind of hoping the Ravens might get him.

24
by Will Allen :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 5:17pm

Who knows? Maybe Caldwell was the guy who convinced Mckinnie to try to do his job for a couple months. If so, the man is a motivational genius.

10
by Ryan D. :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 2:53pm

This is a sign that the team is being completely turned over to Matthew Stafford. This is the only coach that Detroit could hire that would not say a word, interfere, or even blink for 25 straight weeks.

Of course, this would work a lot better if they could trade for Peyton Manning to be their QB.

15
by dcaslin :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 3:36pm

Sign #7 your HC pick may not be best:

The team you've poached him from is celebrating his promotion away.

I haven't heard a single Ravens fan express sadness that Caldwell leaving, we're all just praying we can get Norv Turner now. People are much more concerned about losing Austin, our old DB coach and DET's new DC.

17
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 3:52pm

Yea, I'm a Lions fan living in the Baltimore Area, and my Ravens fan friends' reactions are similar to the Munchkins' reaction to the death of the Wicked Witch of the East. Some have thanked me personally (sadly, I do not hold a Lions front office position).

The only hopes I'm clinging to is that his coordinators are competent men that he doesn't interfere with, and that the hot-headed chippiness/lack of discipline that cost them games before goes away.

22
by dcaslin :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 4:58pm

Yeah, I don't think Caldwell will be terrible for you, just "meh". Now Josh McDaniel's would have been scary.

86
by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 3:44pm

Josh McDaniel's would have been scary

Is McD really a hot HC candidate again? He's always been great with an offense, but is there reason to think he learned anything from his management mistakes in Denver? After all, Matt Millen never learned anything.

25
by Hurt Bones :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 5:17pm

I'd only hand out thanks if Caldwell took Jim Hostler with him, but I really don't wish that on a Lions fan.

16
by theslothook :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 3:37pm

Hey, this COULD work out, in the same sense that going all in on 7 2 suited COULD get win you the hand...

The thing that gets me is, how in the world did caldwell leapfrog so many other good candidates? People like Mike Zimmer, darell bevel, roman, and others. Hell, why not go after josh mcdaniels before this.

ANd frankly, that timeout decision and then explanation should forever disqualify you from being a head coach.

18
by Hurt Bones :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 3:58pm

I really don't understand the whole Mike Zimmer thing. Yes he's been a good coordinator, but he's 57 and has never been a head coach at any level. I'm pretty sure the have be no successful NFL head coaches who were hired at 57+ with no previous head coaching experience at any level.

19
by Ryan D. :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 4:05pm

Riverboat Ron would be all-in with an unsuited 2-7. I expect that Bill Belichek would fold when the flop came 772, having access to a secret feed to the camera that shows Rivera's pocket cards.

20
by Danny Tuccitto :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 4:40pm

Hey, this COULD work out, in the same sense that going all in on 7 2 suited COULD win you the hand...

...after one of the 7s was misdealt and two earlier players flash-mucked 4 of your suit.

21
by jklps :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 4:48pm

Are the Lions possibly interested in Jim Haslett for assistant head coach while they are at it?

85
by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 3:40pm

Are the Lions possibly interested in Jim Haslett for assistant head coach while they are at it?

As a Redskins fan, I can dream...

23
by In_Belichick_We... :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 5:10pm

I can only come up with this:
What if the Lion's top priority is to make Stafford more like Peyton and try to run the Peyton-Colts offense.
What other candidate is familiar with Peyton and the offense they ran in Indy?
Perhaps they contacted Moore and Dungy and they both recommended Caldwell.
I can't think of any other way for this hiring to make sense.

50
by dryheat :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 9:54am

Senator, I served with Peyton Manning. I knew Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning was a friend of mine. Senator, Matthew Stafford's no Peyton Manning.

28
by Steve B :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 6:40pm

"Bill Belichick took a team without Tom Brady and coached it to 11-5; Jim Caldwell took a team without Peyton Manning and coached it to 2-14."

That '08 Pats team, even without Brady, had far more left over than the '11 Colts did. And I'm not sure how much thinking that at least one of Collins, Painter and Orlovsky would be a good backup plan for Manning was Caldwell's fault. I think that and some other personnel decisions fall more on the Polians.

I'm not saying the guy's a great HC, but it seems like some make him out to be completely incompetent, which i don't think is fair. Ravens' fans loved him a year ago. I don't know how much he's to blame for their offensive woes this past season, but I don't think it's his fault that their o-line fell apart, Boldin was traded and Pitta got injured.

29
by tuluse :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 7:22pm

If a head coach does not have significant input into who the backup QB is, he should not be a head coach.

30
by LionInAZ :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 8:04pm

That might leave a few prominent franchises without any head coach.

There have also been a few head coaches who should never have been allowed to decide who was going to be the starting QB as well.

40
by tuluse :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 11:43pm

Which head coaches do you think are cut out of the loop when deciding on personnel?

45
by Noah of Arkadia :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 1:02am

It's the fashionable excuse for Rex Ryan, I don't know if it's true or not.

------
The man with no sig

49
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 8:10am

Capers pretty much was in Houston, back in the day. I suspect Garrett may well be.

58
by tuluse :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 11:36am

I'm considering this evidence to support my initial claim. Though with Garrett it might be more accurate that Jerry Jones should not be a GM.

70
by LionInAZ :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 6:53pm

Keeping to the specifics of backup QB choices, Rex Ryan was my first thought as well, given the Tebow signing. Anyone working in Snyderville or Jonestown was next on my list.

While we're in the vicinity of Shanahan, I'm not completely convinced that the benching of Jake Plummer for Cutler was entirely his idea, since the MSM and the Broncos owner pretty much came out in favor before it happened. Also, my memory says that Jeff Fisher really didn't want Vince Young but had to keep him because the owner loved him.

73
by tuluse :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 7:26pm

Tebow might have been acquired against Ryan's will, but he didn't play backup QB for the Jets. Greg McElroy did.

Also, my wording was "significant input" not "complete and total control".

84
by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 3:39pm

Which head coaches do you think are cut out of the loop when deciding on personnel?

Schottenheimer in San Diego. He wanted Brees, the GM wanted Rivers.

88
by tuluse :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 4:07pm

Right, and then he was let go just a year later because if your head coach does not have significant input on the roster he should not be your head coach.

89
by Will Allen :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 4:47pm

Or the GM should be fired, as thousands of now-wiser Charger fans lament.

90
by tuluse :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 5:14pm

Right. My point is that a head coach without significant input on the roster is a not a tenable situation.

47
by theslothook :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 2:05am

This always bothers me...

Calling Matt Cassell a capable backup plan is always said after the fact. Consider, painter had been in this offense for at least 2 years and 3 off seasons. He was an actual starter at Purdue and was a higher draft pick than cassell. Cassel, meanwhile, hadn't started a game since high school, so if he faceplanted, no one would be praising BB about having an insurance plan in case brady went out.

And btw, I think cassell on the 2-14 colts would have been no better than Orlovsky. At best, they may have gone 3-13 or 4-12 instead of 2-14.

The biggest issue with Caldwell is...its not obvious what positive impact he brings and its pretty obvious where his shortcomings are. He's risk averse to a fault and his usage of timeouts make andy reid seem like a savant.

61
by zlionsfan :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 11:50am

Painter was also a relatively crappy starter at Purdue and had no business being drafted by the Colts in the first place ... it's like they figured "but Brees! and Orton!" and assumed that somehow meant any multi-year starter from Purdue would become at least a serviceable NFL quarterback.

I can't speak for the fan base at large, but I do know that those of my friends who follow both Purdue and the Colts (there's a pretty significant overlap because of geography and IU generally not having a good team), the reaction at the time of the pick was pretty much "why?"

31
by LionInAZ :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 8:13pm

I'm sort of meh on this. I don't like Caldwell's record, either at Wake Forest or at Indy -- makes me worried he's another Herm Edwards. I'm also concerned about who he might bring in as assistants, especially on D. If he lures away some Ravens D coaches I'd like it better.

On the other hand, Dungy thinks he's a good choice, Jeff Saturday likes it, Joique Bell likes it, and Torrey Smith likes it.

As for going after someone like Bevell or Roman, it sounds good except for the poor success record of coordnators that are hired as coaches in the NFL.

33
by Will Allen :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 8:32pm

12 of 32 make the playoffs each year. That means most coaches fail each year. That means most coaching hires will fail, regardless of pedigree. There is no formula for this not named Parcells. We hair-challenged apes merely like to try read a pattern in what is a random mess.

71
by LionInAZ :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 7:16pm

I wasn't looking for a philosophical answer. My point was that Caldwell doesn't have a sustained record of success as a coach. He had only one winning season at Wake Forest, and it wasn't as if the program was on the upswing when he left. His record with the Colts ended up as an avalanche into oblivion. Peyton Manning-less or not, the weaknesses were there for a coach to see, but it didn't seem he had an answer. The Ravens' offense performance was awful, even if you consider McKinnie's 'rejuvenation' a plus.

That said, the pickings were pretty slim, given the parameters the Lions limited themselves to. Lovie Smith is a good coach, but I think his limitations were too familiar in the NFC North. Whisenhunt, Munchak, Gruden (blech), Kubiak? Not a very inspiring list. Some of the OCs sounded good but the Lions have too much talent to reboot with a guy who's feeling around with head coaching for the first time.

Maybe they should have tried to lure Shaw from Stanford. He might be far enough removed from Harbaugh's shadow to coach at this level now.

75
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 7:35pm

I would have like Lovie Smith, limitations or not. His limitations had more to do with the wrong personnel on offense and the wrong offensive coordinators. The former would not have been a problem in Detroit, and the defense has enough young talent to work with.

Don't have an opinion on David Shaw, but he was apparently adamant that he was going to stay at Stanford.

77
by Will Allen :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 7:47pm

I guess I was just responding to the "coodinators have a bad track record as head coaches" concept. All categories have e bad track record.

82
by tuluse :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:32am

Always go for assistants who's career Paul Brown is sabotaging because he doesn't want them to get away.

83
by Hurt Bones :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:36am

I think an exorcism is in order if Paul Brown is haunting Cincinnati sabotaging assistants.

37
by Steve B :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 10:56pm

Word is he's taking the DB coach with him to Detroit

44
by Alexander :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 12:30am

Once again...why is Dungy's word so important? Is it his piggybacking off of Manning for a decade? His inability to field a decent defense in Indianapolis? His team taking a leap the year after he left in Tampa?

52
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 10:19am

Not that I disagree with the fact that Dungy's opinion might be overvalued, but I think you're selling his career a little short. Tampa Bay was a train wreck of a franchise for years before Dungy got there and turned them into consistent playoff contenders. And as much as you want to say he "rode Peyton Manning" (why does no one accuse Bill Belicheck of "riding Tom Brady"?), the team's accomplishments were pretty underwhelming before Dungy got there.

57
by Alexander :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 11:31am

Probably because Bill Belicheck won 2 (if not 3) of his Super Bowls with Brady merely in "game manager" mode.

And because if you eliminated QBs the Pats would have beaten the Colts basically every time.

And because even when his teams had weaknesses they never were the exact same, glaring, weakness for a decade.

60
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 11:45am

I wasn't trying to say Dungy should be considered the equal of Belichek, just making the point that other head coaches people consider pretty good have had the luxury of great quarterbacks. And that just because Peyton Manning is great, we shouldn't totally discount Dungy's Superbowl ring or what he did to turn around the Bucs.

66
by Will Allen :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 1:54pm

No, the 3rd Patriots champions did not have a "game manager" as a qb. Neither did the 2nd or 1st, really. Drew Bledsoe was still a better than average qb when Tom Brady made it obvious that he should be starting. Even with that qb, the Patriots are one very small arm movement, and a long kick made in a snowstorm, from not getting out of the divisional round in 2001, and kicked a 46 yard field goal, with 4 minutes left in the game, to get out of the divisional round in 2003.

The use of playoff w-l records, in evaluating coaching performance, is often unwise. Belichik was recognized as a great, great coach, by 2003, and rightly so. He would have been no less great if the Patriots had lost in the divisional round in 2001 and 2003, with some extremely minor changes in random events, but I guarantee the narrative would be far different. Similarly, if Tony Dungy gets lucky with a late round qb pick in Tampa, he may easily have won multiple Super Bowls in his first coaching gig, and not have needed to be paired with Payton Manning to change the narrative on him.

72
by LionInAZ :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 7:24pm

Yeah, I don't get this. Are you sure you're not confusing 'Belichick' for 'Billick'?

78
by Alexander :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 8:15pm

I dont mind Dungy that much, except that his whole thing is to be uncontroversial, boring, uninformative, and unequivocally supportive of everyone he meets and knows.

I don't think he was bad in Indy, as we are seeing now, no matter who the coach is there they are a dysfunctional organization that is hellbent on fielding mediocre teams around an elite QB talent.

79
by LionInAZ :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 1:18am

My comment didn't single out Dungy. It also included endorsements from retired Colts players as well as current Lions and Ravens players who played under Caldwell.

87
by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 3:52pm

Was Jon Gruden piggybacking off of Dungy's Tampa 2 defense when he won that super bowl?

91
by Alexander :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 7:05pm

*Monte Kiffin's

32
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 8:28pm

As a Colts fan, I have some weird memories of the Caldwell era.

On the one hand, I think he gets too much blame for what happened in 2011. When you lose the best QB of All Time to a team that already had an increasingly thin roster (honestly, the 2010 Colts were probably worse outside of QB), things will go badly.

But there was so much wrong with the Caldwell era. He was very risk averse, way too often punting or kicking field goals. Tony Dungy, and now John Fox, learned that with Peyton, being aggressive is the right way to go. Maybe Caldwell would have learned that over time, but he definitely didn't during his time in Indy.

On the other end, he definitely can work with QBs. We all credit Peyton for basically being his own OC, but Caldwell was his position coach for years. He definitely did well in that role. His version of hte Ravens offense was far better than Cameron's in 2012. His players seem to love him (both in Indy and in Baltimore).

I've always felt coaches were judged way too much on game management. It's hard not to since we as outsiders don't really have knowledge of their gameplanning, their team management, but maybe Caldwell is good in these things. I think he can work well with Stafford, which is probably the most important objective of any Lions coach going forward.

34
by Will Allen :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 8:38pm

Hey, if Caldwell can get Stafford off his lazy ass, semi-permenantly, like Mckinnie got off his for two months last year (and for all I know, Caldwell was the catalyst), Caldwell will likely be pretty successful.

35
by jonnyblazin :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 10:26pm

Caldwell ran Cam Cameron's offense in 2012, he just called different plays. When he was in charge of the offense in 2013, it was the worst offense in Ravens history.

Think about that. Much worse than any offense run by Kyle Boller, Anthony Wright, Elvis Grbac, Tony Banks, Trent Dilfer, Jeff Blake, Chris Redman, etc.

36
by Steve B :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 10:53pm

But it was an O missing Boldin and (for much of the season) Pitta and whose o-line was among the league's worst. Even Yanda didn't play very well. They also had Ray Rice dealing with a hip injury. Again, I'm not saying he's blameless, but there were a number factors working against him.

39
by tuluse :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 11:39pm

I really hope Jim Caldwell was not expecting Boldin to contribute much to the Raven's 2013 season.

43
by Steve B :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 12:10am

I like how you ignored everything else in the post...

No, I doubt that he expected Boldin to contribute much, but most observers felt subtracting him from the team was going to have a negative impact on them in 2013. Add in Pitta's injury and they were very, very thin when it came to 'middle of the field' wrs.

46
by tuluse :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 1:08am

It was just a joke.

48
by Bobman :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 4:39am

And I thought a pretty good one

55
by jonnyblazin :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 10:58am

No doubt the Ravens had some personnel issues, but still Caldwell did a poor job adapting to the situation. Plus, there were reports that defenses were calling out the Ravens plays when they were lined up by the end of the year. Caldwell was a poor playcaller who didn't have an understanding of how to run an offense.

However, that doesn't mean he can't be a good head coach. He's just an awful OC. After all, he was 57 years old before he ever ran an offense.

53
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 10:24am

I definitely agree that as fans we put way too much stock into game management/timeout usage, and not enough into preparation/game planning. Easier to critique what you can see. Andy Reid and Mike McCarthy have made some mind-boggling in-game decisions through the years, but they've managed to be pretty successful coaches.

The one faint hope that I'm clinging to is that the team is run more by a good staff than by Caldwell. If this team can simply show up prepared and stop making so many boneheaded mistakes, they're easily a 10 win team. But I'll likely still go into next season with low expectations.

59
by tuluse :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 11:38am

It's one thing to mess up timeout usage. It's another thing to believe after the fact that you did the right thing and give a nonsensical explanation.

65
by Noah of Arkadia :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 1:45pm

Well, if you think about it, minus Peyton Manning defense was actually the team's strength back then. Add the fact that defenses win championships and it makes all the sense in the world to maximize your defensive snaps, especially with a kicker like Folk who, yes, had missed many FGs that year but had also shown a tremendous "it" factor.

------
The man with no sig

68
by tuluse :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 3:50pm

Is this some kind of parody post?

How does who their kicker is affect how many snaps you want to give them?

You always want fewer defensive snaps.

Calling a timeout for the other team running a 2 min drill is borderline insane, and the only defense should be "I made a mistake".

69
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 5:33pm

The premise was so ridiculous I assumed it was a parody post.

80
by Noah of Arkadia :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 1:34am

Exactly. The premise was so blatantly absurd I thought no one but an unverified could take it seriously!

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The man with no sig

81
by tuluse :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 1:55am

I've sent my sarcasm meter to the shop for recalibration.

38
by Mike Y :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 11:01pm

As a Bears fan, I applaud this hire. Seems like both the Packers and Lions have dynasty-level talent, but have coaches that can only dribble out 10-6 seasons at best in most cases. I'm just glad there is no Belichick, Payton, or Harbaugh in the division to make these teams into perennial 13-3 teams. So it makes me happy that every year the Bears can throw out a mediocre-to-possibly-decent team every year to threaten to be 10-6 and win the division to makes things exciting.

41
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 11:52pm

Is poster drunk? Gb won super bowl with vurrent head coach. Tema 10-6 that yr but fluky bad 10-6. Pleayed more like a 13-3 team.,never trailed by more than 7. Next yr tema go 15-1. Emu egg laid in playoff vs nyg though. In 2012, have the 10-6 type season you mention, so okay, that is liek type of seasob you are writing about. This seaosn went 8-7-1 but easily could have been 11-5 if A. Rodgers did nto miss huge chunk of season. This with a crap defense.

So team fixes defense and no readon McCarthy can't make them go 12-4 in 2014.

42
by justanothersteve :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 12:06am

To add onto raiderjoe's post, I will mention that McCarthy was the SF OC before he became the Packers head coach. It was Alex Smith's rookie year and the SF offense finished 30th and their passing offense was 32nd. Before that he was the OC for the Saints for the magical Aaron Brooks era (and was the one who convinced the staff to get him from the Packers in trade). Most of Packers nation was stunned with the McCarthy hire. Along with the 2010 SB win, the Packers are the only team besides the Pats to go to the playoffs the last five years. So, to quote Judy Tenuta, "It could happen."

54
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 10:30am

Heck, the best Lions season in my lifetime ('91) was when they had Wayne Fontes as coach, and no one expected them to do anything. It's far better to have low expectations exceeded, than have high expectations dashed. At least that's what I'll keep telling myself in week 1 when watching Caldwell's unblinking, expressionless face on the sidelines.

62
by Jimmy :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 12:04pm

Well this Bears fan is a bit worried about Lazor bringing some Chip Kelly magic to the motor city. The Bears looked utterly clueless about that attack the last time they faced it. If he is bringing a DC from the Ravens that probably means switching to a Ryan family/46 defense, they have the up front guys and the safeties to make that work. They would need corners on defense and a warm body to play WR on offense.

Worrying about how on earth you would defend Johnson when they are running packaged plays is starting to melt my brain.

63
by Hurt Bones :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 12:11pm

Don't worry, be happy. Lazor looks to be headed to Miami not Detroit.

64
by Jimmy :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 1:00pm

I will. I am seriously relieved.

56
by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 11:02am

Blank stare master

Good dscription for j. Caldwell

67
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 2:20pm

Well the Lions made it clear to the media that they wanted someone with a more even-keeled demeanor than Jim Schwartz. They went in the extreme opposite direction.

Obligatory:
http://russellstreetreport.com/files/2013/05/faces-of-jim-caldwell.jpg

74
by LionInAZ :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 7:35pm

Lovie Smith was good for plenty of blank stares during his tenure with the Bears, too.

76
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 7:39pm

I remember. I don't think facial expressions have anything to do with how good a football coach you are. I just find it humorous.