What a surprise. The Detroit Lions have once again settled on a head coach in Jim Caldwell even though they are a top-tier team in terms of talent. Underachieving has been the Lions’ favorite thing to do as of late and for the past couple of seasons, the team has been loaded with talent under Jim Schwartz and in both 2011 and 2012, they failed to reach the playoffs, winning 11 games combined.
Don’t get it wrong, Caldwell has had a solid history in the NFL, going 14-2 in his first year as head coach with the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 and then going 10-6 in 2010 — making the playoffs and winning the division both times. However, in 2011, without Peyton Manning, the Colts went just 2-14 under Caldwell.
I know what you’re saying, Manning is a tough loss and most coaches would go 2-14 when losing him. However, this was a division title team from the prior season and a 10-plus win team for nine consecutive seasons under Tony Dungy and Caldwell.
Okay, I’ll give Caldwell a slight pass on the 2-14 season, but his 26-63 record as a collegiate head coach with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons is inexcusable. If that’s not bad enough, his record without Manning as his quarterback is an astoundingly horrible 28-77. Yikes.
I get the hire for the Lions. Matthew Stafford wanted a head coach who has dealt with top-tier quarterbacks before because that’s what he strives to be. Apparently, Stafford had a say in the hiring process and if that’s the case, maybe Caldwell will work out.
Two things need to happen, however. First, Caldwell needs to enforce discipline within the team and win them over and second, Stafford needs to become Peyton Manning somehow. Or maybe the Lions can trade for Manning so that Caldwell can be successful.
All jokes aside, the Lions settled on Caldwell with the pressure of finding a solid coach hanging over their head. Since 2000, the Lions have had seven different head coaches. Their record since 2000? A mediocre 64-151.
Good luck, Caldwell.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.