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RedRamage

The Future of Jim Caldwell

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I think the majority of us figured coming into 2016 that Caldwell was only keeping the seat warm for Quinn's choice in 2017... especially given then less than stellar start to the season.  

And while I wouldn't classify the Lions right now as elite, they are are playing better and sit atop the NFCNorth right now.  Which begs the question... is Caldwell going to be here in 2017?  And of course... should Caldwell be here in 2017?

I hope that Quinn wouldn't keep Caldwell just based on perception, but when you're a new GM and have an owner who has public supported the current coach, you'd really need to step out on a limb to switch coaches if the Lions have some level of success this year (win the division, win a playoff game?).

So, what's your feeling?  Has Caldwell done enough for you to want to keep him in 2017?  And if not what more does he have to do?  Finally, do you think that if Caldwell does win the North and/or wins a playoff game that he will be kept?

Personally, I think it's too much smoke and mirrors right now.  I don't feel like the team is anymore than mediocre with a QB playing at an elite level that's bailing them out.  I don't trust that Caldwell will be able to pilot this team successfully next year if Stafford doesn't play elite again.  (There's no reason to think that Stafford can't be elite again, but is that because of Caldwell or in spite of him?)

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If they make the play-offs I think it is going to be hard to justify letting him go unless there is an absolute no brainer choice available.

Alternately, conceding the point they are smoke and mirrors for the sake of discussion, is that an indictment on Caldwell?  Or, if it is largely Stafford bailing them out, and Stafford is presumably comfortable under Caldwell and staff, is removing Caldwell likely going to lead to improvement?

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4 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

If they make the play-offs I think it is going to be hard to justify letting him go unless there is an absolute no brainer choice available.

Alternately, conceding the point they are smoke and mirrors for the sake of discussion, is that an indictment on Caldwell?  Or, if it is largely Stafford bailing them out, and Stafford is presumably comfortable under Caldwell and staff, is removing Caldwell likely going to lead to improvement?

It's a good debate and one really, really hard to have without access to the locker room.

I think you have to give some credit to Caldwell and the coaching staff.  It's be silly to say that it's all Stafford and the coaches haven't done anything... the question just is how much?  Very hard to say.

I will say this: There were many times last year where it looked like the staff was making obvious mistakes during the game.  Think like: Poor clock management, inability to make half time adjustments, questionable challenges and questionable non-challenges... Those things seem much fewer this year.  There have still been some games where it felt like Caldwell screwed up or that the team just wasn't ready (Bears game comes to mind), but these things are going to happen to even the best of coaches/teams.  As long as it isn't a pattern, I'm not going to throw a fit about it.

I'll say this much: I felt like keeping Caldwell was a huge mistake coming into 2016... and I dearly hoped that it was just because Quinn didn't think he could find anyone better in the limited time he had.  Now... I won't be pissed if Caldwell remains for 2017.  I'm not sold on him yet, but I'm coming around I guess.  I'm at least not actively dislike him. :)

 

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12 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

If they make the play-offs I think it is going to be hard to justify letting him go unless there is an absolute no brainer choice available.

Alternately, conceding the point they are smoke and mirrors for the sake of discussion, is that an indictment on Caldwell?  Or, if it is largely Stafford bailing them out, and Stafford is presumably comfortable under Caldwell and staff, is removing Caldwell likely going to lead to improvement?

One more thought... in your "make the play-offs" scenario... does that require a NFCNorth win or would you be okay even if they somehow "backed in" to the playoffs as a WC (which seems unlikely, but for the sake of debate).  Would losing the North to the Vikings but getting just enough to get a WC slot and then losing the first round... would that be enough?

To me an NFC North title all be wraps up a 2017 job for Caldwell.  But just clinging to a WC slot and then perhaps getting blow on in the first playoff game... that might be enough to get him fired, especially if Quinn is only lukewarm on Caldwell and/or has another guy picked out that he really wants.

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I am just speaking to the optics / politics of the thing as opposed to my preferences.

You have a guy coaching the Lions to an overall winning record and taking a team to the play-offs 2 seasons out of 3.

Quinn has to nail the next hire if he lets Caldwell go under that scenario, especially if the rumors were true and Martha likes Caldwell as a coach.

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I'm never going to think Jim Caldwell is a great coach, but he has solid assistants, he's definitely improved in his in game decision making (as far as aggression/challenges at least) and they're winning. As long as that last thing stays around he's not going anywhere.

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The best case scenario is replacing Caldwell with a competent HC while retaining Cooter.  Perhaps Jim Bob might be promoted to HC after the season.

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On 11/28/2016 at 9:03 AM, Euphdude said:

The best case scenario is replacing Caldwell with a competent HC while retaining Cooter.  Perhaps Jim Bob might be promoted to HC after the season.

lol, dammit

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I think this is what Caldwell has going for him

- Winning record here so far, locked in through the end of the season

- Winning record before he got here, even with Dan Orlovsky as his best QB one year(yikes)

- Great with QBs, did EVERYTHING he promised he'd do with Stafford. Like it or not, working with your QB is a major factor in NFL HCs being hired these days. 

- Does anyone dispute that his players are behind him and play hard for him? He was billed as a leader of men and that seems to be true

- I don't think the comeback stuff is a fluke. There's an article on the main page about how his 09 Colts were very similar and there have been many reports about how they practice more extreme comeback situations than most teams do. 

- Put together a great staff

 

We know the negatives that people think of him. Usually having to do with in game management stuff. I'd say a). he's improved there and b). it doesn't outweigh the rest

Extend the man

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If the Lions make the playoffs, he absolutely has to stay.  Makes the playoffs 2 out of his 3 years AND has an overall winning record in 3 seasons. 

Also watching the Eagles defense the other night make me thank my lucky stars that the Lions have Caldwell, all those dumb mistakes are gone.  The Lions play sound football right now.  Add some more talent and see where it goes.

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It really is under mentioned how much talent this team lost since Caldwell's first season. If I told you two years ago we'd lose Suh,Fairley,Levy and Calvin, while Ziggy would have zero sacks yet we'd still be 7-4 I can only imagine the shock

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Some of his tactical decisions I've disagreed with at times but you can't argue with the record considering the talent he has had to work with.   He even seems to be showing more emotion on the sideline as of late, which is a pleasant sight to me.

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2 hours ago, Mr.TaterSalad said:

Should Caldwell be fired if they manage to miss the playoffs next week?

I don't think so.  As I was saying in the other thread though, if Quinn does fire Caldwell I will understand.  But I think Caldwell has done enough to keep his job.  Give him more talent.  This team is weak in so many areas right now. 

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I kind of relate this situation to the Tigers with Ausmus. Obviously a lot of people don't like either of them, but neither is to blame for the team's shortcomings. Both dealt with serious issues in personnel and injuries that really hurt. If they do lose to Green Bay and miss, I say they bring him back for next year. It's the last year of his contract just like Ausmus, and you see what happens. If they miss again, let him go and find a new coach. But I think Caldwell deserves another year.... especially the way the team responded last season after the 1-7 start and now this year after the 1-3. And let's not forget, the man is on the verge of taking the Lions to the playoffs in 2/3 years as coach. 2 winning seasons and a 7-9. That's unheard of for a Lions coach.  

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1 hour ago, Sydney_Fife said:

I.. serious issues in personnel and injuries that really hurt..

mostly this. Big limit to what a coach can do when he has no one who can cover a quality receiver, his best TE can't run block, his best runner and his best 3rd down option are both missing from the backfield, his O-line players are still maturing, and his "#1" receiver never gets any separation. I'm damn amazed they are where they are when I  stop to go through the personnel. Seems to me that regardless of the overall record, when a team clearly plays better than the sum of its individual parts that has to say something positive about its coaching staff.

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