Ermanni: Not sold on Caldwell - FOX 32 News Chicago

Ermanni: Not sold on Caldwell

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  • Jim Caldwell introduced as Detroit Lions new head coach

    Jim Caldwell introduced as Detroit Lions new head coach

    Wednesday, January 15 2014 5:10 PM EST2014-01-15 22:10:10 GMT
    The Detroit Lions officially introduced Jim Caldwell as the franchise's new head coach. The announcement happened Wednesday afternoon during a news conference at Ford Field.
    The Detroit Lions officially introduced Jim Caldwell as the franchise's new head coach. The announcement happened Wednesday afternoon during a news conference at Ford Field.
  • Hammond: The Hire of Jim Caldwell

    Hammond: The Hire of Jim Caldwell

    Tuesday, January 14 2014 7:26 PM EST2014-01-15 00:26:53 GMT
    In an interview with Jay Glazer on Fox's NFL playoff coverage, Reggie Bush didn't pull any punches when he talked about what the Lions needed in a new head coach.
    In an interview with Jay Glazer on Fox's NFL playoff coverage, Reggie Bush didn't pull any punches when he talked about what the Lions needed in a new head coach.
  • Tony Dungy Talks about Lions Hiring Jim Caldwell

    Tony Dungy Talks about Lions Hiring Jim Caldwell

    Tuesday, January 14 2014 5:00 PM EST2014-01-14 22:00:04 GMT
    Fox 2 Sports Director Dan Miller spoke with former Colts head coach Tony Dungy about the Lions hiring Jim Caldwell as their new head coach.
    Fox 2 Sports Director Dan Miller spoke with former Colts head coach Tony Dungy about the Lions hiring Jim Caldwell as their new head coach.
WJBK -

Let me start by saying that I hope I'm very wrong about this, but the Lions hiring Jim Caldwell is about as under whelming as it gets.  If in fact all the "experts" were correct in saying that the Lions job was the most attractive to a potential head coaching candidate, this certainly did nothing to back that up.  By all accounts, Ken Whisenhunt was the Lions top choice. 

If he wasn't, and the Lions indeed targeted Jim Caldwell to be their next head coach, they could've made this hire a week ago.  The perception immediately is that Caldwell is plan B after Whisenhunt picked the Titans over the Lions. 

I cannot remember a time where a new head coaching hire didn't move the excitement needle at all.  Even if previous head coaches didn't work out (i.e. Mariucci, Schwartz etc.) at the time they were hired, fans were excited about the potential those men could do something previous coaches were not able to do.  Win in Detroit. 


This hire seems to be extremely reactionary.  Whisenhunt picks Titans, and less than 24 hours later, Detroit hires Caldwell.  Something about that doesn't sit to well with fans who have poured their money, heart, soul and everything else into a franchise who have given them absolutely nothing in return.  Perception is reality and the perception is that the Lions have fumbled this hire.  How in the world could they possibly screw this up?

Ken Whisenhunt isn't Vince Lombardi but to me, he was the best of the bunch.  He groomed Ben Roethlisberger. he led one of the most inept franchises in all of professional sports, the Arizona Cardinals, to a Super Bowl appearance.  He took Kurt Warner when no one wanted him and turned his career into what is now a Hall of Fame player, and after two years of being terrible, turned Phillip Rivers into a Pro Bowl quarterback.  

The Texans wanted Bill O'Brien and got him.  The Bucs wanted Lovie Smith and got him.  The Redskins wanted Jay Gruden and got him.  The Titans wanted Ken Whisenhunt and got him.  The Lions wanted Ken Whisenhunt and.... (see previous sentence).  

More damning than anything for this franchise is there seemed to be a perfect fit between personnel and potential head coach and that guy said no!  Maybe the thought is that this is where coaches come to die.  Maybe a coach worth his salt will look at this place and say, you just can't win here.  

I don't think that Jim Caldwell is the worst option in the world but he just doesn't do it for me.  After all, there is plenty of buzz that the Ravens were praying Caldwell was hired in Detroit so they wouldn't have to fire him as their offensive coordinator.  He was liked by so many there but just didn't get results.  The Ravens offense ranked 29th out of 32 teams in the NFL and Baltimore wanted to make a change.  So what am I missing here? The Ravens didn't want him back as an assistant but the Lions want him to be their head coach?  That doesn't make much sense to me.  

Caldwell's resume is a fine one.  He has 2 Super Bowl rings (one with Indy, one with Balt) and led Indy to the Super Bowl as a head coach.  I don't in any way want to discredit that appearance but I think it's only logical to point out that Peyton Manning was the quarterback. 

Yes, he took over the Ravens offense last year after Cam Cameron was fired and won the Super Bowl with the Ravens as the offensive coordinator.  But every place he's been, in the NFL anyway (he has college coaching experience as well), has gotten worse during his tenure.  

In Baltimore, Caldwell took over as offensive coordinator on December 10th, 2012.  His offense averaged 22.3 points per game in the final 3 regular season games (of which Balt had a 1-2 record) before getting hot in the playoffs and ultimately winning the Super Bowl. 

However, in 2013, the Ravens offense was atrocious.  There were only 3 teams in the NFL who were worse on the offensive side of the ball and they only scored 30 points once all season.  In 8 of 16 games, that's half of the games played for you math geniuses out there, the Ravens failed to score 20. 

Joe Flacco was paid $120 million dollars following the 2012 season and I'm sure they were hoping for a little more than the 29th ranked offense in the season that followed.  Again, as Caldwell has stayed in a certain role, the team got worse.  

The good news is that with the Lions, Caldwell can't possibly make this team any worse than it is.  One playoff win in 57 years is all anyone really needs to know about why Whisenhunt or any top tier coaches wouldn't want to come here.  I hope I'm wrong.  The fans of this football team deserve a winner more than any other franchise in sports (outside maybe the Cleveland Browns). 

But as much as it pains me to say, being a native Detroiter, I think this is just simply the Same Old Lions.

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