their top target get hired yesterday by the Tennessee Titans, have hired Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell as the 26th head coach in franchise history as first reported by Adam Schefter. Caldwell, who was the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2009-2011, fills the Lions' desires to hire a coach with prior head coaching experience as all of their interviewed candidates all had that experience. Was he a good hire for a franchise that has made the playoffs once since the turn of the century? Here's my take.
I have been waiting to say this because the four prior hires have all been good in my opinion. This, in my humble opinion, is a bad hire and the Lions are going to regret this move.
I know what people may say about him and his tenure in Indianapolis in that save for the disaster in 2011 when Peyton Manning was out for the season, he went 24-10 and took the Colts to the Super Bowl in the 2009 season. The problem is that it was Tony Dungy's roster that Caldwell was coaching and that he had one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Caldwell was an eminently clueless coach that was a disaster in clock management situations (as famously shown against the Jets in the 2011 NFL Playoffs). And while the collapse in 2011 was largely due to the aforementioned Manning injury but the team was not even competitive and Caldwell got nothing out of what he had. Not to mention that he was awful as coach of Wake Forest, going 29-63 from 1993-2000.
Caldwell does deserve credit for his job in helping Joe Flacco get in his groove down the stretch when he took over late last year as the Baltimore offensive coordinator and helped the offense perform in the postseason en route their victory in Super Bowl XLVII (although the Ravens were a trash offensive team this year in his first full season at the helm). He is a solid offensive coach and is good with quarterbacks, meaning he may be able to get more out of Matthew Stafford and help him fix his mechanics. But for a talented club that has disappointed for years and is known as being undisciplined, Caldwell, who is not much of a take-charge, big personality type that commands presence in the locker room, does not appear to be a good fit for this club.