Detroit Hires Jim Caldwell, Good Hire or Not?

Chris Schisler

The Detroit Lions have hired Ravens offensive coordinator, Jim Caldwell as their head coach. The prevailing wisdom is that the they chose Caldwell to get the most out of their franchise quarterback, Matthew Stafford. There is little doubt that Caldwell can have a positive impact on Stafford; but will he be good for the team?

Jim Caldwell has a great wealth of experience. He has been coaching for a long time and he has earned a good reputation. He is intelligent and calm mannered. He has always been a great quarterbacks coach.

There is also a lot of reservations I would have about Jim Caldwell, if I was a general manager. Here are the problems with the hire:

1.) Jim Caldwell under performed as the Ravens offensive coordinator. This is not an opinion; it is a cold hard fact. The Ravens had one of the worst rushing attacks in football and ranked 26th offensively.

Yes,the Ravens had other problems offensively. The offensive line was pitiful and with no Dennis Pitta or Anquan Boldin the Ravens offense lacked consistent playmakers. All of this is true but does not afford Jim Caldwell a pass. He took a bad situation and made it worse.

Caldwell did not consider pass protection in his play calling. This was obvious. He used too many 5 man protections. When you’re offensive line can barely block three, how can you expect them to pick up blitzes with no help? The run game was absolutely abysmal. Caldwell also called a painfully predictable offense. Nothing ever changed.

This article is not about the Ravens, so I will move on. Just understand that the offensive coordinator position seemed way over Caldwell’s head.

2.) Jim Caldwell only lasted three seasons as a head coach; and he left them with the number 1 draft pick in 2012. To be fair the Colts were going to have a bad year no matter what happened without Peyton Manning for the entire season. But let’s be honest. Caldwell did not handle a bad situation well as a head coach.

The other two seasons Caldwell rode the Peyton Manning train to the playoffs but made some questionable decisions. He had a chance to have an undefeated season and he rested his starters ( Much to the dismay of Peyton Manning).

He lost to the Jets at home in a playoff game. Who ever would have thought Mark Sanchez could roll into Peyton’s house and beat him? In the Super Bowl against the Saints, Jim Caldwell was severely out coached, at least in my opinion.

3.) Jim Caldwell can’t call the plays and he must have good assistant coaches. Caldwell failed at calling plays as far as I am concerned. If Jim Caldwell is the play caller Stafford will take a beating (protection issues) and the Lions will have a bad run game.

Jim Caldwell is a coach with a specialty. He is a quarterbacks coach. He has failed as an offensive coordinator and a head coach. I hope I am wrong. I really want Jim Caldwell to succeed.
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