Jim Caldwell had coached both a 14-2 team and a 2-14 team. The Lions can only pray that he has the tools bring them the former and not the latter.
This year the annual NFL coaching carousel landed on seven coaches getting new head coaching positions. Some have coached before and are getting a second chance, while others are getting their first chance as a head coach.
In this series we will look at the head coaches that are starting with brand new teams and what they are getting themselves into. This edition focuses on one of the veteran head coaches getting a second chance with a new team:
Jim Caldwell (Detroit Lions) – After seven years as the QBs coach in Indianapolis with Peyton Manning, the Colts did not miss a beat when they went from Tony Dungy to Caldwell, going 14-2 in 2009 and nearly winning Superbowl 44. The 2010 season ended on a sour note after Manning announced he needed neck surgery. In 2011 Caldwell’s team went 2-14, resulting in his firing. Caldwell was able to revive his coaching career with the Ravens by helping Joe Flacco reach the Superbowl as his QBs coach, culminating in a second chance as a head coach.
The Lions, despite building a talented roster under Jim Schwartz, had only 1 winning season in his 5 years as coach, leading to his firing after 2013. The team includes perennial All-Pro WR Calvin Johnson, gunslinger QB Matt Stafford, Reggie Bush and a talented D-Line.
Caldwell has many of the same tools with the Lions as he did in his first two years with the Colts, which could mean good things for the team if they can start winning the close games.