Lions Hire Jim Caldwell
After swinging and missing on their top candidate, Ken Whisenhunt, the Lions have hired former Colts head Coach Jim Caldwell.
Caldwell coached eight uninspiring years at Wake Forest, accumulating a 26-63 record. He served as an assistant on the Indianapolis Colts staff from 2002-2008, and was promoted to head coach in 2009. In his first year his team went to the Super Bowl, losing narrowly to the New Orleans Saints. The following year Indianapolis went 10-6, losing in the first round of the playoffs. Peyton Manning left town the following season, and a Curtis Painter led team went 2-14. Caldwell was fired.
Caldwell has produced varying results the last two seasons. He was brought on as the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator in December of the 2012-2013 season, and the offense immediately sparked. Joe Flacco played brilliantly, leading the Ravens to a Super Bowl championship. This season the offense took a step in the wrong direction, ranking dead last in the NFL in yards per play.
I have no idea if Jim Caldwell will succeed in Detroit. The problem with this hire is that Caldwell was pretty low on the list of viable candidates, and part of the reason that Whisenhunt did not accept the job is that the Titans offered him more money. Also, if the Lions would have acted swifter in firing Jim Schwartz, they would have had their selection of a wider range of candidates such as Bill O'Brien (who the Texans started talking to before the season ended) and Chip Kelly (had they fired Schwartz last off-season). One has to wonder how deep the commitment to winning is when financial reasons continue to keep the organization from landing their top candidates.