High expectations, little results.
This has been the story for the Detroit Lions since Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson became NFL stars.
Confident Lions fans were making pre season predictions about an exciting run in the playoffs, only to be disappointed by the “same old Lions”. No playoffs and predictions proven wrong, fans foresaw the firing of Jim Schwartz.
The Lions started the season with a 6-3 record. Then they fell apart, going 1-6 to close the season. With a roster full of talented players like Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and Reggie Bush, there is no reason to have a losing season. Thus, Jim Schwartz was fired from the Lion’s head coaching position on December 30th.
The Lions ended their search for a head coach on Tuesday, January 14th, naming former Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell the new head coach. The Lions seem to be taking a step in the right direction with their decision. Caldwell is a great fit for a struggling Lions team.
Caldwell coached under Tony Dungy with the Colts and helped them win Super Bowl XLI in 2002. In 2009, Dungy retired and Caldwell became the head coach of the Colts. In his first season as head coach, he lead the Colts to a 14-2 record and a Super Bowl appearance. They however, lost to the New Orleans Saints.
In 2011, the Colts went 2-14, but without their star player Peyton Manning. Caldwell was fired and almost instantly hired as a coach for the Ravens. In 2012 he became their offensive coordinator, winning the Super Bowl with the Ravens that same year. On January 14, he was hired as the head coach of the Detroit Lions.
Caldwell has plenty of previous coaching experience. He also has a lot of experience in the playoffs, winning two Super Bowls, one as a quarterback coach for the Colts and the other as the offensive coordinator for the Ravens. The Lions have only won one playoff game in the Super Bowl era. They made the playoffs in 2011, but lost the Wild Card game to the Saints. Experience in the playoffs is something the current Lions roster lacks almost entirely. Caldwell’s experience will give them an edge on getting back to the playoffs.
Caldwell is also the man who can take an already dangerous Lions offense to the next level. He is a man held in high regard by his former player and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. He will be able to help Stafford cut down on his interceptions, making him a more efficient passer. With the NFL’s best receiver, Calvin Johnson, the Lions passing game could become unstoppable.
Caldwell’s hiring in Detroit might be the step that finally turns the “same old Lions” into a consistently competitive team.