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Sept 10, Cardinals @ Lions, 1pm est, Fox


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12 minutes ago, Shinma said:

Lions drive start times for the drives that eventually tied/took the lead:

9/11/16 Colts led 35-34 with :37 left

10/9/16 Eagles led 23-21 with 2:34 left

10/16/16 Rams led 28-21 with 14:05 left

10/23/16 Redskins led 17-13 with 1:05 left

11/6/16 Vikings led 16-13 with :23 left

11/20/16 Jaguars led 19-16 with 13:24 left

11/24/16 Vikings led 13-10 with 5:02 left

12/11/16 Bears led 17-13 with 6:59 left

9/10/17 Cardinals led 17-15 with 14:16 left
 

See, now this is useful and interesting information.  

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7 hours ago, pyrotigers said:

I don't think Caldwell is very good at any aspect of in game coaching, but he's done a good job hiring assistants and keeping the team in line since he came here, and really that's probably like 80% of being a head coach

It is.  The Head Coach is basically the manager of the coaches.     I think Teryl Austin is the Lions DC in my lifetime.  He's a great coordinator.   

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I know what I wrote sounds simplistic (and should be a given in any work environment), but there are a lot of domineering personalities in sports as well as an awful lot of passive aggressive backstabbing and blame placing because there is no shortage of guys who are both highly ambitious *and* insecure involved in the endeavor.

That scene becomes both pervasive and disenfranchising really quickly for those who are self-motivated perfectionists (which most professional athletes are).

Simply keeping things under control in a reasonable and fair manner while not being a **** about it goes a long way to keeping a majority of the players and assistant coaches happy because:

a. they are professionals who want to work in a positive and professional environment, and

b. they know the alternative sucks because they have either lived the alternative or have good friends who are living the alternative.

 

Keeping the players and assistants happy -> motivated to do their best is the meat of the job as pyro suggests.

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That really is a good point. It's hard for me to find anything to criticize about Caldwell. It doesn't hurt that he has a winning record for the lions. He's been fortunate to have decently talented, mediocre teams. But I think he also deserves credit for keeping a mediocre team playing hard. 

He likely isn't a tactical genius, but he doesn't have to be. Simply being an excellent manager can be enough. 

There is always the desire to hire the young stud coordinator to be the head coach, but you never know whether they can handle being the top guy. 

I would not be in any rush to get rid of him. 

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33 minutes ago, Shelton said:

That really is a good point. It's hard for me to find anything to criticize about Caldwell. It doesn't hurt that he has a winning record for the lions. He's been fortunate to have decently talented, mediocre teams. But I think he also deserves credit for keeping a mediocre team playing hard. 

He likely isn't a tactical genius, but he doesn't have to be. Simply being an excellent manager can be enough. 

There is always the desire to hire the young stud coordinator to be the head coach, but you never know whether they can handle being the top guy. 

I would not be in any rush to get rid of him. 

I agree.   As long as they're winning and the players are on board with him, why change?

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This Caldwell love is interesting compared to what we heard on the board last season. I don’t necessarily disagree with it, though if I’m Quinn I’m waiting to see if Caldwell can at least outcoach Mike Zimmer before writing up a new contract. Don’t look now, but Minnesota has an offense to go with that defense, and Chicago took the NFC champion from last season right down to the wire. It is still very easy to see this Lions team finishing third in the division.

Also, if I’m Quinn, I’m expecting Caldwell’s offense to make some progress on their production early in games. You can’t have your game plan be spotting teams 10 point leads and then storming back. Stafford is a known quantity to this coaching staff now; if you can’t figure out how to get second-half Stafford playing in the first half, you aren’t getting the job done.

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5 minutes ago, Jason_R said:

This Caldwell love is interesting compared to what we heard on the board last season. I don’t necessarily disagree with it, though if I’m Quinn I’m waiting to see if Caldwell can at least outcoach Mike Zimmer before writing up a new contract. Don’t look now, but Minnesota has an offense to go with that defense, and Chicago took the NFC champion from last season right down to the wire. It is still very easy to see this Lions team finishing third in the division.

Also, if I’m Quinn, I’m expecting Caldwell’s offense to make some progress on their production early in games. You can’t have your game plan be spotting teams 10 point leads and then storming back. Stafford is a known quantity to this coaching staff now; if you can’t figure out how to get second-half Stafford playing in the first half, you aren’t getting the job done.

Just wait for the first loss....

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1 hour ago, Shelton said:

That really is a good point. It's hard for me to find anything to criticize about Caldwell. It doesn't hurt that he has a winning record for the lions. He's been fortunate to have decently talented, mediocre teams. But I think he also deserves credit for keeping a mediocre team playing hard. 

He likely isn't a tactical genius, but he doesn't have to be. Simply being an excellent manager can be enough. 

There is always the desire to hire the young stud coordinator to be the head coach, but you never know whether they can handle being the top guy. 

I would not be in any rush to get rid of him. 

Yup, he has that Jim Leyland feel about him. No, not a tactical genius, but he understands the game, understands his players and they play hard consistently for him. In a city where you could argue all 3 other major sports teams have quit at times in recent years, I can't say that about Caldwell's teams at any point here.

I don' think he has some plan to come back, but I think Stafford is more comfortable in an opened up, aggressive offense and Caldwell's steady demeanor keeps the team consistent through 4 quarters when other teams often blow their load in one or two quarters and crawl to the finish.

 

and the man is a QB savant IMO, straight up

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11 hours ago, pyrotigers said:

I don't think Caldwell is very good at any aspect of in game coaching, but he's done a good job hiring assistants and keeping the team in line since he came here, and really that's probably like 80% of being a head coach

That and your HC almost has to have a strong relationship with the QB these days

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4 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I am not willing to buy the narrative that somehow Caldwell is allowing other teams to put up 10 points early based on Sunday and last season.

If the trend continues, fine, I am willing to consider the possibility more seriously, but fans as a group tend to read more into trends than is often there.

I'm not selling a narrative. The fact (as Shinma shared) is that the Lions lead the NFL over two seasons in the number of games in which they have trailed entering the 4th quarter - tied with the Browns, and ahead of the Bears, 49ers and Jags. All doormats. Two seasons is not a small sample size in the NFL. 

Yes, nine fourth quarter comeback wins out of those sixteen games is impressive, and Caldwell must deserve some credit for keeping his team calm. But surely he deserves some scrutiny for the failure of his offense to perform early in games, which we have seen for the last several seasons, and saw again on Sunday.

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Some PFF stuff

LB - Whitehead graded awful, Worrilow average, Davis above average. Last year we were running 3 awfuls out there, so take that for what its worth. Bynes scored better than Whitehead and Worrilow.

Diggs was the best DB in the league week 1 on their scale. Quin and Kilebrew were top 10 safeties.

Stafford the 2nd QB

Our DTs all graded awful again, with Ashawn the worst ironically. Ledbetter the best. He might be a steal, not just because of this.

Zettel was the 8th overall edge defender. Washington 20th, Ansah 30th. Pretty solid day for our most maligned group.

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9 minutes ago, Jason_R said:

I'm not selling a narrative. The fact (as Shinma shared) is that the Lions lead the NFL over two seasons in the number of games in which they have trailed entering the 4th quarter - tied with the Browns, and ahead of the Bears, 49ers and Jags. All doormats. Two seasons is not a small sample size in the NFL. 

Yes, nine fourth quarter comeback wins out of those sixteen games is impressive, and Caldwell must deserve some credit for keeping his team calm. But surely he deserves some scrutiny for the failure of his offense to perform early in games, which we have seen for the last several seasons, and saw again on Sunday.

I still think the 4th quarter thing is overblown. They aren't an elite team or even a very good team. They are a mediocre team. 

How many of those games where they trailed in the fourth quarter were they leading in the third quarter at some point? I don't know the answer. But there is so much parity in the NFL, it's not surprising that a mediocre team like the lions will be in a lot of close games, and if you are in a lot of close games, there is a decent chance that you will find yourself trailing with 15 minutes to play, but still within a score. 

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The existence of a trend is not proof of anything by itself, and I know how these things tend to go with fans.  If they go 6 games without falling behind early or coming back late, then people just stop talking about it and latch onto whatever the new trend is.

If, on the other hand, the trend continues for a while, I'll put more stock into it.  Right now, I think it is more coincidence than anything.

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10 minutes ago, Shelton said:

I still think the 4th quarter thing is overblown. They aren't an elite team or even a very good team. They are a mediocre team. 

How many of those games where they trailed in the fourth quarter were they leading in the third quarter at some point? I don't know the answer. But there is so much parity in the NFL, it's not surprising that a mediocre team like the lions will be in a lot of close games, and if you are in a lot of close games, there is a decent chance that you will find yourself trailing with 15 minutes to play, but still within a score. 

And, if your QB is good, and can bring his skill to bear late, you can steal more wins than the underlying skill of the team would normally merit.

I'd suggest that would be a more accurate narrative.

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If Caldwell were a better coach he wouldn't have had Stafford throw a pick six or have ****ty special teams play in the 1st quarter directly leading to the 10 points the Cardinals scored.  A better coach would have better prepared against those events.

Lions outscore the Cardinals 9-0 in the 2nd, but had a lousy first half as opposed to a lousy first quarter according to the vast majority of the commentary I have read and heard.

Seriously, how crappy was the Cardinals' coaching in the first half if the only points they could score were 100% gifted to them AND the Lions were horrible throughout?

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2 game division lead, 3 games to go. Man, talk about sitting pretty…  Caldwell couldn’t possibly blow this, could he? Yep, he sure could. Just tank the next 2, hand the division to the Packers in your own stadium, crawl into the playoffs on your hands and knees as a 6th seed (privately thank the Redskins), get smoked in the first round, finish 0-4.

That’s all I need to know about Caldwell

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And, if your QB is good, and can bring his skill to bear late, you can steal more wins than the underlying skill of the team would normally merit.
I'd suggest that would be a more accurate narrative.

This may have the kernel of a thoughtful argument. Perhaps Quinn and Caldwell are in agreement that the roster as a whole is bereft of talent except at the QB position; this would make sense. And perhaps they are in agreement that in general, offensive game plans will be very conservative early, and they will rely if necessary on Matt Stafford to be a gunslinger and pull out late wins; this also seems plausible.

But if Quinn and Caldwell had agreed on this strategy, which has been executed with surprising success, it seems that Quinn would have extended Caldwell already, so as to avoid the potential distractions of having a lame duck coach. Quinn has not done this. Quinn clearly has other thoughts here.

My working theory of how Quinn is approaching this decision is largely what I’ve already posted: make the playoffs, prove you can outcoach a division rival, and start to prove you can get second-half offense playing in the first half.

Your approach seems to be that maybe by the end of Stafford’s new contract in 2022, there will be enough of a trend evident to make a decision on Caldwell’s contract, which runs out at the end of the current season. OK then.
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