New Detroit Lions General Manager Bob Quinn made his first big decision for his new team. He will retain Jim Caldwell as head coach for 2016. This will be the third and final season Caldwell is under contract, and while his head coaching skill leave something to be desired…this move is easier to sell with the fact that Jim Bob Cooter has been given the full time Offensive Coordinator job, and after going on several interviews for Head Coaching gigs Teryl Austin looks to return as Defensive Coordinator.
After finishing the second half of the season 6-2, and granted those victories came against poor competition, there is a very strong case to be made for not blowing up what the Lions already have. A lot of people and fans of this team will write off this move as Same Ole Lions…however, the last two General Managers hired by this team came in and fired the Head Coach…granted Rob Marinelli was finishing up a 0-16 campaign but alas firing the head coach and overturning the coaching staff did nothing to improve the product on the field.
The problem with the Detroit Lions for quite some time has been how this team goes about evaluating talent. By keeping Caldwell, who is popular with the players and the ownership, Quinn takes some of the pressure off himself for 2016 and gives him time to fix the actual problem. He can now build the front office staff and rebuild the scouting department into something that more resembles a successful approach to improving the product on the field.
With that being said I will say that I have zero faith in Caldwell as a head coach. However, Quinn got very lucky no other team offered Austin a head coaching gig because keeping Caldwell is a was easier sell when both of his celebrated coordinators still in the fold. Instead of starting over from scratch the 2016 Lions can build on what they did in the second half of 2015. Hopefully that leads to greater on the field success. I will say that Caldwell needs to win 10 games and make the post season to earn a chance to keep his job past the coming NFL season.
With the Coaching staff in place, minus the changes that will come at the positional coaching jobs, Quinn can get rid of what has not worked and bring in people who are qualified to make personnel decisions at the NFL level. He fired a scout that has been employed by the team since 1987…think about that…a person who has had a hand in every terrible decision made since before Barry Sanders…if that does not prove what is wrong with this organization I am not sure what else can.
Kyle O’Brien has been hired as Director of Player Personnel giving Quinn a very good NFL mind to help make decisions with. That is something Martin Mayhew never had…since he thought he was the smartest guy in the room. Even with the help of Brian Zanders Mayhew’s front office continually made very questionable decisions especially in the draft. I cannot remember a time when the Lions had a DPP and I have been a fan for 27 years. So for those who want to write these moves off as Same Ole Lions…well…
While I am apprehensive about this move, in the long run I think it makes some sense. We shall see when the season begins and where our Lions stand then…until then it is just speculation.