Detroit Lions are hiring Jim Caldwell as their new head coach

Jim Caldwell will have a chance at redemption with the Lions

1/14/14 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

Blog Photo - Detroit Lions are hiring Jim Caldwell as their new head coachThe Detroit Lions have hired Jim Caldwell as their new head coach, after losing out on the Ken Whisenhunt sweepstakes. Caldwell last coached with the Indianapolis Colts from 2009-2011, where he posted an overall record of 26-22.

His latest gig has been as the offensive coordinator of the Ravens, where he helped them to a Super Bowl win last year.

Some might say Jim Caldwell got a bad rap with the Colts. He led them to a Super Bowl in his first season as head coach, and won another division title in his second season. They went 2-14 in his third year, but that's at least partly excusable, since Peyton Manning was out getting 4 neck surgeries, and Caldwell was suddenly stuck with guys like Curtis Painter, Kerry Collins and Dan Orlovsky.

On the other hand, some would say that Jim Caldwell's ineptitude as a coach was the beginning of the end for the Colts. He chose to bench his star players and forgo an opportunity for a perfect season in 2009, and some people believe that his lack of a killer instinct is what cost them the Super Bowl. I happen to be one of those people. I wrote about it both when they decided to torpedo their perfect record against the Jets, and again after they lost a Super Bowl in which the coach with the most cajones is the one who walked away with the trophy.

Caldwell isn't incompetent. He can coach an already-great team to continue to be great, at least for a little while. As I already mentioned, the Colts wen't 14-2 in his first season at the helm. They probably could have gone 16-0, if Caldwell felt like it. But they were already a great team. They were coming off 7 straight seasons with double digit wins, 7 straight division titles, and they had won a Super Bowl only 3 years earlier with very similar personnel.

But can Caldwell take over an underperforming and somewhat dysfunctional Detroit Lions team and lead them to the playoffs?

I guess we'll see. But I'm not optimistic.
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