Monday, January 13, 2014

On Ken Whistenhunt not becoming the Lions' next head coach - and Jim Caldwell

Caldwell: Resume mirrors Whisenhunt's in a way
I was among those who felt Ken Whisenhunt was the ideal candidate to replace Jim Schwartz as the Lions' head coach, but he isn't the only coach in the pool. Jim Caldwell's resume is as impressive in many ways. This town is underwhelmed by the idea of Caldwell, but he wasn't merely a product of his talent in Indy. He played a significant role in Baltimore as well. He has been part of Super Bowls. His record at Wake Forest as a head coach is misleading. He actually did an excellent job under the circumstances.
The Lions could do a lot worse than if they name Caldwell head coach.
It's the perception that's the killer here. The idea of the plane being left on the runway, that the Lions were behind the curve on Whisenhunt. It could be as simple, though, as he likes Nashville better than Detroit. He was as an assistant at Vanderbilt during the 1990s, and is from that part of the country originally (he played collegiately at Georgia Tech and high school football in Augusta, GA.)
I do believe Caldwell would improve the Lions' offense, but what about the defense?
The Colts ran a Tampa 2 when he was the head coach on the heels of Tony Dungy. His defensive coordinator was Larry Coyer, who is 70 years and hasn't coached since 2011. It's doubtful he would be brought in. Could it be that Gunther Cunningham would be retained as defensive coordinator and the Lions' stay with the Wide 9? I'm not sure that would be the right move, but is more possible than we could have imagined when this process began.
Teryl Austin, the secondary coach for the Ravens, has been mentioned as the D-coordinator, but his one year as coordinator at Florida was not successful. He was on Urban Meyer's final staff. The idea of Jim Tressell on the Lions' staff is just weird. It's like he was campaigning with some of his comments about Caldwell to the media.


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