Sydney_Fife

Fire Jim Caldwell

102 posts in this topic

8 hours ago, Nastradamus said:

Coached up? How about Stafford. He said he'd get his comp% up and his INTs down. He has.......

I don't know the stats, but did this happen because of Caldwell or Cooter?

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2 hours ago, nd1377 said:

I don't know the stats, but did this happen because of Caldwell or Cooter?

It had started before Cooter, and I think his mechanics are clearly better, so I'd lean Caldwell given that its his calling card. 

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If you get to 2-5 or so, I wonder if they consider selling. Might not get anything, but I'd explore what Tate,Quin,Warford and Reiff could bring in return. Tate and Quin might be offseason cuts and you can probably only keep one, so might as well explore. 

Lineup changes have to be considered as well. Robinson in for Walker? Tomlinson benched?  

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5 hours ago, Nastradamus said:

If you get to 2-5 or so, I wonder if they consider selling. Might not get anything, but I'd explore what Tate,Quin,Warford and Reiff could bring in return. Tate and Quin might be offseason cuts and you can probably only keep one, so might as well explore. 

Lineup changes have to be considered as well. Robinson in for Walker? Tomlinson benched?  

Great point. I wonder how it will go down if they are something like 2-7 at their bye week. Will they let Caldwell stay on as coach until the end of the season? Like you mentioned, will Quinn start making player changes at the bye knowing that some of the players will have to be cut at the end of the season anyway?

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21 hours ago, Nastradamus said:

It had started before Cooter, and I think his mechanics are clearly better, so I'd lean Caldwell given that its his calling card. 

Great, then make him quarterbacks coach.    He sure isn't a head coach. 

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1 hour ago, Motor City Sonics said:

Great, then make him quarterbacks coach.    He sure isn't a head coach. 

Lol

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On 10/3/2016 at 11:30 AM, Nastradamus said:

Motown board all offseason: This roster sucks, Mayhew drafted terribly, we shouldn't be expected to win much

Motown board when team performs poorly during season: Well clearly we need to fire the coach with a winning record, that's gotta be the problem

Caldwell's record with Peyton Manning:  24-8

Caldwell's record without Peyton Manning: 21-31

 

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Just now, RedRamage said:

Caldwell's record with Peyton Manning:  24-8

Caldwell's record without Peyton Manning: 21-31

 

Caldwell's record without Peyton Manning or Dan Orlovsky - 19-17 

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10 minutes ago, Nastradamus said:

Caldwell's record without Peyton Manning or Dan Orlovsky - 19-17 

And headed in the wrong direction...  Granted, we're only a quarter of the way into 2016, but:

  • 2014: .688 winning percentage
  • 2015: .438
  • 2016: .250

The Lions went from a GREAT first half in Indy to barely holding on but still getting a win on the road there to a really poor showing at home against the Titans to a lackluster effort in Green Bay to a horrible, horrible performance in Chicago... Is that all Caldwell's fault? No, of course not.  But some of the blame surely needs to be on the HC and unless you see a lot of redeeming value in Caldwell (which I don't), then I don't see why you wouldn't want to replace him.

I don't think Caldwell is doing a very good job of preparing his players and getting them ready for the game.  I don't think he does a good job of making half time adjustments or anticipating adjusts from the other team.  I KNOW that he does do a good time with game management.

I'm sure there are things he does very well... Stafford has improved as a QB under him and I'm sure at least part of that needs to be credited to Caldwell.  But I don't see enough positives to come close to overcoming the negatives.

EDIT TO ADD: Just because I'm anti-Caldwell at this point does NOT mean I absolve the players or the front office.  There is plenty of blame to spread around.  But some of the blame does land on Caldwell and I would prefer a different HC right now.

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Sure seems PFF’s preseason assessment of the Lions being one of the bottom teams in the NFL (widely scoffed at on this board) is starting to smell like a rose

 

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3 hours ago, RedRamage said:

And headed in the wrong direction...  Granted, we're only a quarter of the way into 2016, but:

  • 2014: .688 winning percentage
  • 2015: .438
  • 2016: .250

The Lions went from a GREAT first half in Indy to barely holding on but still getting a win on the road there to a really poor showing at home against the Titans to a lackluster effort in Green Bay to a horrible, horrible performance in Chicago... Is that all Caldwell's fault? No, of course not.  But some of the blame surely needs to be on the HC and unless you see a lot of redeeming value in Caldwell (which I don't), then I don't see why you wouldn't want to replace him.

I don't think Caldwell is doing a very good job of preparing his players and getting them ready for the game.  I don't think he does a good job of making half time adjustments or anticipating adjusts from the other team.  I KNOW that he does do a good time with game management.

I'm sure there are things he does very well... Stafford has improved as a QB under him and I'm sure at least part of that needs to be credited to Caldwell.  But I don't see enough positives to come close to overcoming the negatives.

EDIT TO ADD: Just because I'm anti-Caldwell at this point does NOT mean I absolve the players or the front office.  There is plenty of blame to spread around.  But some of the blame does land on Caldwell and I would prefer a different HC right now.

Wouldn't you say the talent's gone down each year? I just think its funny how we discredit him for winning with Peyton Manning but then blame him for losing a banged up roster that couldn't afford to get banged up. 

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11 minutes ago, Nastradamus said:

Wouldn't you say the talent's gone down each year? I just think its funny how we discredit him for winning with Peyton Manning but then blame him for losing a banged up roster that couldn't afford to get banged up. 

I dunno if I'd say that.  Jones this year is a much better receiver than CJ was last year... at least that's what it appears to be.  Tate is still here, obviously... the OL is probably stronger this year than last, but perhaps not as good as 2014.  The secondary last year seemed adequate, and it's largely the same as it was then, is it not?  I wouldn't fight too much over the talent being lesser, but not by leaps and bounds.

My point re: Manning is that I think you could plug in just about any NFL coach/coordinator in with Manning in his prime and expect to see some decent level of success.

Still, it's not even the talent so much as the preparedness that I'm looking at.  

  • When I see things like the return man consistently bring out the ball from the end zone and regularly getting tackled short of the 25... why?  Why isn't the coaching staff hammering the dude and telling him: "Take the %@&! knee!" And if he doesn't do it after you've told him repeatedly, then replace him!
  • When I see the team have a GREAT first half, and then fall apart in the second half... what isn't Caldwell doing that others are?
  • When I see the team come out flat and seemingly unprepared against one of the worst teams in the NFL...
  • When I see a team that's behind and running out of time saunter up to the goal line instead of hurrying up... wasting 30 seconds or more between plays...

Look, I'm not an NFL expert nor do I have one ounce of NFL coaching experience.  Maybe I'm not seeing all the little things that Caldwell does do really really well... but if I'm not, I'd sure like someone to point them out to me.  

Caldwell certainly isn't the whole problem... arguably not even the biggest problem.  But is part of the problem in my humble opinion.  I suspect that Caldwell will not be here as HC next year.  So, given that, what's the advantage to firing him now vs. the off season?

  1. Fan interest... for better or worse, an NFL team is an entertainment product.  And while Martha is surely making money off the Lions, a large amount of fan apathy won't help matter.  Firing a failing HC will hopefully send the message to fans that the Lions expect more and keep the fans interested.
  2. Auditions for Austin and/or Cooter... There certainly seemed to be interest in Austin as a possible HC candidate after 2014 and while his star has faded more recently, if Austin is still considered a possibly viable HC candidate, here's a chance for him to audition for 3/4 of a year to prove himself.  I don't suspect Cooter is ready to be an HC yet, but this next 3/4 of a year might help to show if the problems we've seen on offense so far are a Cooter or a Caldwell thing.
  3. No abiguity once the season ends... no thought of will they keep him or not... no worrying about Caldwell's season ending interview and how it might turn out... the Front Office can just move right into HC hiring mode as soon as the season is over or...
  4. Preparing for a new hire BEFORE the season is over?  While the Lions obviously can't officially talk to anyone during the season who's currently coaching, there's surely back corner ways to gauging interest.  The Lions would also be able to unofficially scout other coaching candidates.

Okay... so huge long post that I've probably rambled too much in... here's the tl;dr version:

Caldwell is not the only problem, but is one of the problems. Regardless of talent level, I see holes in Lions approach and preparedness for games.  These I trace, ultimately, to the HC.  Unless Quinn really thinks that Caldwell might turn it around and is the best choice for 2017 as well, I see advantages to firing Caldwell now.

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I don't want to blame Caldwell too much for what a return man decides to do. I don't think it's a huge deal whether a drive starts at the 20 or the 25, or even the 15. Drives rarely live and die based on where they started. And a couple poor returns don't change the fact that the guy is presumably the best one for that role. And you also don't know that the next kick is going into the end zone anyway.

Just not a big deal to me.

I also don't put a lot of stock in "coming out flat" or the like. Sometimes players just don't perform.

My issue with a coach would come down to strategic decisions, like play calling in general, when to go for it or punt/attempt a FG. I haven't watched enough games to have an opinion on those aspects.

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I don't want to blame Caldwell too much for what a return man decides to do. I don't think it's a huge deal whether a drive starts at the 20 or the 25, or even the 15. Drives rarely live and die based on where they started.

Ten yards in field position is an additional first down standing between your offense and putting points on the board. I'm not qualified to do the math on that, but on each drive where a team pushes itself back from the 25 to the 15, that team is going to have a harder time stringing together enough first down conversions to get into the end zone, or even field goal range.

The fact that the Lions repeatedly lose ten yards of field position by returning kickoffs is an illustration of a broader point, which is that Caldwell either hasn't thought to teach his players smart football, or they don't listen to him.

His team lacks composure and situational awareness. With more of either, they would arguably be 3-1 right now. Not a good 3-1, but the 3-1 of an average-talent team that does not beat itself.

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Ten yards in field position is an additional first down standing between your offense and putting points on the board. I'm not qualified to do the math on that, but on each drive where a team pushes itself back from the 25 to the 15, that team is going to have a harder time stringing together enough first down conversions to get into the end zone, or even field goal range.

The fact that the Lions repeatedly lose ten yards of field position by returning kickoffs is an illustration of a broader point, which is that Caldwell either hasn't thought to teach his players smart football, or they don't listen to him.

His team lacks composure and situational awareness. With more of either, they would arguably be 3-1 right now. Not a good 3-1, but the 3-1 of an average-talent team that does not beat itself.

There is data on expected points based on the start of any series of downs. And the difference between starting at the 15 and the 25 is minimal to almost nonexistent.

Field position is of course important overall. On any one drive when starting so far from the end zone it is far less important.

And it's also only a minor problem when it doesn't work. If you don't attempt a return, the best you can do is the 25. If you attempt it, maybe you get to the 40 or something. That's not a bad gamble to take when the downside of taking it out is minimal.

If they did it on every drive, and failed every time, that would be an issue. But they don't do it every time. And even if a couple of those are definite mistakes by the player, is it better to put in an inferior player because of a couple mistakes by the presumably better player?

We are talking about the Green Bay game here, right? How many times did this happen?

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7 minutes ago, Shelton said:

There is data on expected points based on the start of any series of downs. And the difference between starting at the 15 and the 25 is minimal to almost nonexistent.

Field position is of course important overall. On any one drive when starting so far from the end zone it is far less important.

And it's also only a minor problem when it doesn't work. If you don't attempt a return, the best you can do is the 25. If you attempt it, maybe you get to the 40 or something. That's not a bad gamble to take when the downside of taking it out is minimal.

If they did it on every drive, and failed every time, that would be an issue. But they don't do it every time. And even if a couple of those are definite mistakes by the player, is it better to put in an inferior player because of a couple mistakes by the presumably better player?

We are talking about the Green Bay game here, right? How many times did this happen?

Given the likelihood of penalties on kick returns, I think taking it out is almost a bad idea unless you're an explosive return man, which Roberts has not shown at all on kickoffs. Because I'm stupid and hate myself, here are the Lions starting drive positions this season on kickoff returns brought out of the end zone returned by Roberts:

 

Own 19

Own 21

Own 13

Own 18

Own 16

Own 20 (Moved back to Own 10 by penalty)

Washington also has two kicks returned that were both stopped short of the 25, one was moved up to the 27 due to an offside penalty on the kicking team.

So compared to every kick being a touchback, they have gained 2 yards on one return, and lost 53 yards by Roberts and 5 by Washington. A solid -56 yards just from kickoffs so far this season.

I would say that is....bad.

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There is data on expected points based on the start of any series of downs. And the difference between starting at the 15 and the 25 is minimal to almost nonexistent.

Field position is of course important overall. On any one drive when starting so far from the end zone it is far less important.

And it's also only a minor problem when it doesn't work. If you don't attempt a return, the best you can do is the 25. If you attempt it, maybe you get to the 40 or something. That's not a bad gamble to take when the downside of taking it out is minimal.

If they did it on every drive, and failed every time, that would be an issue. But they don't do it every time. And even if a couple of those are definite mistakes by the player, is it better to put in an inferior player because of a couple mistakes by the presumably better player?

We are talking about the Green Bay game here, right? How many times did this happen?

I read multiple studies - which I did not link to because I can make no claims as to their veracity - that indicate a more significant correlation between starting field position and points scored. In any event, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that being ten percent further away from scoring has no effect on scoring. That is at best implausible on its face.

And it wasn't just the GB game. Roberts ran out at least three kickoffs against the Bears, and lost at least 15 yards of field position. And then there have been a few gems where he took it out, the team was penalized for illegal blocks on the return, and the offense took the ball with its back to the endzone. So now you aren't simply talking about marching 95 yards to score, you are also talking about the very real possibility of a turnover that goes for an easy 7 against you.

It is such a simple coaching point that I don't even know why it has to be argued. But, alas, Jim Caldwell is a mediocre coach, and with mediocre talent, a mediocre coach gets bad results.

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Caldwell will be fired at the bye week. 

Hot take.

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The graph below seems to support Sheltons claim that the difference could be considered negligible.  When you look between 71-81 yards away from the endzone the likelihood of a TD or FG is pretty similar.  This graph makes me think punting should happen way less.  This is data for all 1Ds between 2000 and 2007, a little outdated, but useful.  Also this accounts for all first downs, so for example, if you started at your own 20, got a first down and had a new first down from the 35, that was also included.  The data still illustrates that a first down from your own 20 isn't much different than a first down at the 30 with regard to likelihood for scoring. 

3098993205_515ff24398.jpg?v=0

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Thanks TP. That wasn't the exact graph I had seen, but it's the same conclusion and illustration.

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Assuming this chart is accurate, this means every kickoff run back to the 10 yields about a 7% chance of 3 points and a 12% chance of 7. Every kick held for a touchback yields a 10% chance of 3 points and a 18% chance of 7. Thus, each kickoff run back to the 10 should be expected to yield .21+.84 points, or 1.05 points. Every kick held for a touchback can be expected to yield .3+1.26, or 1.56. This is half a point difference per kickoff received. In a game like that against Tennessee, which we lost by one point, that is significant.

And it assumes that the team doesn't get called for a penalty and start its drive from the 5. I don't know whether the graphic accounts for the possibility of giving up points on turnovers from each spot on the field, but there is no reason to assume it does. Nor is there any reason to assume the graphic accounts for the fraction-of-a-point-per-drive advantage given to the other team by giving them an additional 10+ yards of field position after you punt from your own end zone.

Half a point against you on this drive, half a point for the other team on the next drive, and then add up to four, six, eight drives a game... suddenly you are 1-3 and your team is in a tailspin because you aren't coached to take the free yards from a touchback.

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For what its worth, as a side project I have been working on creating some NFL statistical data. I have actually done the math on this a while ago, and the difference between a first and 10 on the 15 and a first and 10 on the 25 is about 0.5 expected points. Not significant, but not insignificant. 

What that means over the last 5 years of NFL data teams on average score 0.5 more points when having a first down on the 25 as opposed to the 15. If you want to know how I got these numbers feel free to pm me or something I can send you a dataset, but at that level its pretty similar to what Football Outsiders, if you ever poke around there.

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17 hours ago, Jason_R said:

Ten yards in field position is an additional first down standing between your offense and putting points on the board. I'm not qualified to do the math on that, but on each drive where a team pushes itself back from the 25 to the 15, that team is going to have a harder time stringing together enough first down conversions to get into the end zone, or even field goal range.

The fact that the Lions repeatedly lose ten yards of field position by returning kickoffs is an illustration of a broader point, which is that Caldwell either hasn't thought to teach his players smart football, or they don't listen to him.

His team lacks composure and situational awareness. With more of either, they would arguably be 3-1 right now. Not a good 3-1, but the 3-1 of an average-talent team that does not beat itself.

We're mad at him for letting a guy return kicks who took one to the house the next week. Yah, it was a punt, but it shows why he believed in his abilities IMO. But hey, us armchair guys probably knew better

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7 minutes ago, Nastradamus said:

We're mad at him for letting a guy return kicks who took one to the house the next week. Yah, it was a punt, but it shows why he believed in his abilities IMO. But hey, us armchair guys probably knew better

Punts and Kickoffs are very different things... so much so that some teams use different guys for each.  Add in the fact that the NFL has done it's darnest to make it less "profitable" to return kicks and the fact that the Lions haven't been a good kick returning team in a long time... it just doesn't make sense in the majority of situations to run out the ball.

The half-point per drive is not insignificant PLUS, as Jason indicated, you give up field position too.

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19 hours ago, RedRamage said:

I dunno if I'd say that.  Jones this year is a much better receiver than CJ was last year... at least that's what it appears to be.  Tate is still here, obviously... the OL is probably stronger this year than last, but perhaps not as good as 2014.  The secondary last year seemed adequate, and it's largely the same as it was then, is it not?  I wouldn't fight too much over the talent being lesser, but not by leaps and bounds.

My point re: Manning is that I think you could plug in just about any NFL coach/coordinator in with Manning in his prime and expect to see some decent level of success.

Still, it's not even the talent so much as the preparedness that I'm looking at.  

  • When I see things like the return man consistently bring out the ball from the end zone and regularly getting tackled short of the 25... why?  Why isn't the coaching staff hammering the dude and telling him: "Take the %@&! knee!" And if he doesn't do it after you've told him repeatedly, then replace him!
  • When I see the team have a GREAT first half, and then fall apart in the second half... what isn't Caldwell doing that others are?
  • When I see the team come out flat and seemingly unprepared against one of the worst teams in the NFL...
  • When I see a team that's behind and running out of time saunter up to the goal line instead of hurrying up... wasting 30 seconds or more between plays...

Look, I'm not an NFL expert nor do I have one ounce of NFL coaching experience.  Maybe I'm not seeing all the little things that Caldwell does do really really well... but if I'm not, I'd sure like someone to point them out to me.  

Caldwell certainly isn't the whole problem... arguably not even the biggest problem.  But is part of the problem in my humble opinion.  I suspect that Caldwell will not be here as HC next year.  So, given that, what's the advantage to firing him now vs. the off season?

  1. Fan interest... for better or worse, an NFL team is an entertainment product.  And while Martha is surely making money off the Lions, a large amount of fan apathy won't help matter.  Firing a failing HC will hopefully send the message to fans that the Lions expect more and keep the fans interested.
  2. Auditions for Austin and/or Cooter... There certainly seemed to be interest in Austin as a possible HC candidate after 2014 and while his star has faded more recently, if Austin is still considered a possibly viable HC candidate, here's a chance for him to audition for 3/4 of a year to prove himself.  I don't suspect Cooter is ready to be an HC yet, but this next 3/4 of a year might help to show if the problems we've seen on offense so far are a Cooter or a Caldwell thing.
  3. No abiguity once the season ends... no thought of will they keep him or not... no worrying about Caldwell's season ending interview and how it might turn out... the Front Office can just move right into HC hiring mode as soon as the season is over or...
  4. Preparing for a new hire BEFORE the season is over?  While the Lions obviously can't officially talk to anyone during the season who's currently coaching, there's surely back corner ways to gauging interest.  The Lions would also be able to unofficially scout other coaching candidates.

Okay... so huge long post that I've probably rambled too much in... here's the tl;dr version:

Caldwell is not the only problem, but is one of the problems. Regardless of talent level, I see holes in Lions approach and preparedness for games.  These I trace, ultimately, to the HC.  Unless Quinn really thinks that Caldwell might turn it around and is the best choice for 2017 as well, I see advantages to firing Caldwell now.

I really don't think WR is our issue and have said that, but lets not forget that Calvin had 88 catches for 1200 yards and 9 TDs at 14 ypc. Jones has had a nice start and might match those numbers, maybe even beat them, but he certainly isn't a "much better receiver than Calvin was last year". That's obviously nonsense. 

The biggest things are losing Suh and Levy. That's a huge deal to any defense. We managed to get some depth and play respectable on D at times last year, but now Ansah is out too. We just weren't deep enough to take that blow. Same with Abdullah on offense. He's not Adrian Petersen, but with Cooter and Abdullah, teams have respected our run game. Without Abdullah(and now Washington too), we're really struggling there. 

The once concern I might have with Caldwell is the penalties, but some of them have been so awful

 

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