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If the Lions finish 8-8 or 9-7, I think there is a better than 50% chance that Caldwell stays on as head coach, but I think the Fords will let the new GM decide. I don't think they will tell the new GM that you must keep Caldwell no matter what.

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If the Lions finish 8-8 or 9-7, I think there is a better than 50% chance that Caldwell stays on as head coach, but I think the Fords will let the new GM decide. I don't think they will tell the new GM that you must keep Caldwell no matter what.

But if I'm the new GM and the Lions end up between 7 and 9 wins after starting 1-7, I'm keeping Caldwell unless Martha says otherwise. It's a free first year for that GM.

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But if I'm the new GM and the Lions end up between 7 and 9 wins after starting 1-7, I'm keeping Caldwell unless Martha says otherwise. It's a free first year for that GM.

Exactly.

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It would be prime if the owners were playing "franchise mode" from the owners box and dictating moves to the new GM?

Yeah... you're sounding very Drew Sharp-ish on this one.

Way to see the negative in a positive situation.

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But if I'm the new GM and the Lions end up between 7 and 9 wins after starting 1-7, I'm keeping Caldwell unless Martha says otherwise. It's a free first year for that GM.

What is a free year? If a GM comes and has the choice of keeping Caldwell or not, it's all on the new GM.

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What is a free year? If a GM comes and has the choice of keeping Caldwell or not, it's all on the new GM.

In practice, I don't think it would work like that. Perceptions about these things are not cut and dried, and I think a new GM could spin it as wanting to give Caldwell a trial period. If it doesn't work, the GM could plausibly say, "He wasn't my guy, but I gave him a shot."

And we all know how much people on this board went out of their way to apologize for Mayhew. If people want to defend someone, they will find things to grasp onto. I can imagine people on this board saying, "Well, the first year of the new GM's reign shouldn't count against him. He kept Caldwell to pacify the Fords, and it ended up being a disaster."

Edited by Jason_R

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In practice, I don't think it would work like that. Perceptions about these things are not cut and dried, and I think a new GM could spin it as wanting to give Caldwell a trial period. If it doesn't work, the GM could plausibly say, "He wasn't my guy, but I gave him a shot."

And we all know how much people on this board went out of their way to apologize for Mayhew. If people want to defend someone, they will find things to grasp onto. I can imagine people on this board saying, "Well, the first year of the new GM's reign shouldn't count against him. He kept Caldwell to pacify the Fords, and it ended up being a disaster."

I couldn't disagree more. A GM's job isn't to (or at least shouldn't be) pacify the owners or look for a way to differ blame and get "free years", it's to win and do everything in their power to win. If the next GM's plan is to keep Caldwell around as a way for him to get a "free year" I think we are in trouble as that is very much so a losing mentality. He needs to either vet Jim Caldwell and wholeheartedly decide if he can win with him as a coach and the current coaching staff or hire his own guy but either way he absolutely needs to be held accountable. No excuse, make the decisions necessary to win or go home; no more "free years" or moral victories; it's time to demand playoff wins and multiple winning seasons in a row.

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I couldn't disagree more. A GM's job isn't to (or at least shouldn't be) pacify the owners or look for a way to differ blame and get "free years", it's to win and do everything in their power to win. If the next GM's plan is to keep Caldwell around as a way for him to get a "free year" I think we are in trouble as that is very much so a losing mentality. He needs to either vet Jim Caldwell and wholeheartedly decide if he can win with him as a coach and the current coaching staff or hire his own guy but either way he absolutely needs to be held accountable. No excuse, make the decisions necessary to win or go home; no more "free years" or moral victories; it's time to demand playoff wins and multiple winning seasons in a row.

If you were getting hired for a multi-million dollar job, you would play politics too, and not worry a whit what fans think about it.

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If you were getting hired for a multi-million dollar job, you would play politics too, and not worry a whit what fans think about it.

Well then as fans, let's both hope you are wrong...because I really don't think what this team needs is a GM who enters into a new job anticipating playing politics as his way of sticking around and not wanting to win at all costs and being in fear of accountability.

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Well then as fans, let's both hope you are wrong...because I really don't think what this team needs is a GM who enters into a new job anticipating playing politics as his way of sticking around and not wanting to win at all costs and being in fear of accountability.

Your idealism is admirable, but misplaced. If, as has been discussed, the team finishes on a hot streak and ends up 8-8 or 9-7, Caldwell will have finished the second year of a four-year contract at 20-12 (.625) or 19-13 (.594) - with only an inexplicable penalty call standing in the way of a playoff win. A new GM may well, in that circumstance, conclude that Caldwell is the best man for the job. Certainly a new GM in that circumstance could reasonably believe that the potential risk of replacing a coach with that record - not to mention the support of the locker room and ownership - is not worth the hope of an incremental gain from a new and untested coach.

If, in that circumstance, the wheels fall off the wagon in year 3, the new GM would then distance himself from Caldwell and bring in "his guy".

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Your idealism is admirable, but misplaced. If, as has been discussed, the team finishes on a hot streak and ends up 8-8 or 9-7, Caldwell will have finished the second year of a four-year contract at 20-12 (.625) or 19-13 (.594) - with only an inexplicable penalty call standing in the way of a playoff win. A new GM may well, in that circumstance, conclude that Caldwell is the best man for the job. Certainly a new GM in that circumstance could reasonably believe that the potential risk of replacing a coach with that record - not to mention the support of the locker room and ownership - is not worth the hope of an incremental gain from a new and untested coach.

If, in that circumstance, the wheels fall off the wagon in year 3, the new GM would then distance himself from Caldwell and bring in "his guy".

I don't disagree with any of this, my disagreement lies strictly in your classification of it being a "free year". I mentioned that the next GM could interview Caldwell and decide that he is the best option to win important games. I also fully understand that a GM, at any given moment, can change the coach/direction of the organization at a moments notice (this is a point I have argued on this board in the past) my only point of contention is that if the wheels fall off, it shouldn't be a "free year," the next GM should also not be able to claim, "He wasn't my guy, but I gave him a shot." That is the epitome of scapegoating and should be unacceptable. The next GM needs to be held accountable, if he chooses to stick with Caldwell, that is fine, (although I would personally disagree) but if it fails he needs to take accountability and admit it was a poor choice and do a better job with the next hire or be on the hot seat.

Look at the situation from the point of an owner and not the next GM, would you want your multi-million dollar hire to interview a guy, make the decision to keep him around, and then within a few months throw him under the bus and claim it wasn't his decision/"guy" when the GM was the one who decided to keep him around? The only way I could see your "free year" playing out is if the owners FORCED the GM to keep Caldwell, anything less than that and the success or failure absolutely needs to be counted for or against the GM.

Edited by EchO

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I couldn't disagree more. A GM's job isn't to (or at least shouldn't be) pacify the owners or look for a way to differ blame and get "free years", it's to win and do everything in their power to win. If the next GM's plan is to keep Caldwell around as a way for him to get a "free year" I think we are in trouble as that is very much so a losing mentality. He needs to either vet Jim Caldwell and wholeheartedly decide if he can win with him as a coach and the current coaching staff or hire his own guy but either way he absolutely needs to be held accountable. No excuse, make the decisions necessary to win or go home; no more "free years" or moral victories; it's time to demand playoff wins and multiple winning seasons in a row.

I think this is correct and is how a new GM is going to operate. I also don't believe the Fords will handcuff the new GM and state that the new GM has to retain Caldwell and his coaches no matter what.

But one other thing I believe: is that our new GM, whomever that may be, will vet Caldwell and his coaches, and determine that they are the right guys to lead the team on the field. Especially if we go on a nice winning streak to end the season.

There may be questions on why Lombardi was retained for so long... but I think that will blow over in the overall scheme of things...

Just my 2 cents.

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Yeah, this "free year" concept sounds like a loser approach to me. If accountability has to be evaded by not engaging in timely decision making about the coaching, then I really don't see how any organization is supposed to function successfully like that.

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It's only a "free year" because it allows the GM to focus on changing the culture of the organization from the top down while evaluating what he has, without the added pressure of replacing the coach. There are a lot of business people who live by the axiom that you don't tear down walls until you know why they were built in the first place. A new GM would have every right to come in, clean house, & put in "his guy", but that doesn't necessarily lead to success.

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If, and it's a big if, but if the Lions do finish 8-8 or 9-7 does Caldwell really deserve to be fired, and would any GM fire him? He took over a losing organization and went 11-5 and 9-7 in two years and by all accounts all the players like him. So would he really deserve to be fired? His handling of the Lombardi situation was bad, but I'm still not convinced that it was all Lombardi. It's not like the offense has lit it up every game since he was fired.

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.....It's not like the offense has lit it up every game since he was fired.

Compared to what their offense looked like in their first 8 games, there is quite a difference. Their offensive line now looks like an NFL line. In their first 8 games, their line/scheme was garbage.

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I don't disagree with any of this, my disagreement lies strictly in your classification of it being a "free year".

I never used the term, or advocated the concept, of a "free year". I think the first person to use that phrase in this thread was Fool Inc.

I did say that a new GM and his supporters would fall on that logic if it suited them - and this is true whether or not fans like it.

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This year has seemed like two, very different years. They seem to be on track right now. Don't really want to lose either coordinator, so for that reason, I think that Caldwell should stay.

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Lions are not going to finish 9-7. 7-9 at best, I think the new GM should hire whatever coach he wants. They can work out if they want to keep Jim bob and Austin or start fresh.

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This year has seemed like two, very different years. They seem to be on track right now. Don't really want to lose either coordinator, so for that reason, I think that Caldwell should stay.

Don't worry Lions will still show how much they suck in next few games.

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This year has seemed like two, very different years. They seem to be on track right now. Don't really want to lose either coordinator, so for that reason, I think that Caldwell should stay.

I don't really know if they are on track necessarily. A lot of times, you see teams that play well initially after some firings then regress back to the mean once the inital emotion wears off so I still think they have 2-3 losses left in them plus they play 3 of their last 4 on the road which is always tough regardless of opponent.

It's very rare that you see a new GM retain the old coach regardless of results. The new GM will want to bring in his guy so while I'm sure Caldwell will get some consideration, I'd say the odds are greatly stacked against him returning. I think somebody hires Austin in the offseason, his defense is really starting to play well again despite being shorthanded most of the year. I think he's a goner. With Cooter, it's too soon to tell, sample size is way too small although I love me some Cooter. :happy:

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