Was Jim Caldwell Stafforded In Detroit?

Look, you’re bored and you wanna talk about the Lions. So, Terry Foster dusted off and oldie and brought up something about Jim Caldwell that I never considered (I dunno why). Could he have had a longer and better tenure if Bob Quinn wasn’t his GM?

We know Quin clearly wanted a different coach from day-1 and literally pounced on any excuse including “9/7 isn’t good enough” to bring in his guy. So, was he drafting Caldwell guys or BQ guys?

I’ve long believed Caldwell wasn’t going to get us there, but when I step back, the facts are, Caldwell already had Superbowl pedigree with Colts and Ravens, pulled Stafford’s QB career from the brink, was loved by his players, and had a better W/L record with the Lions (.563) than Jimmy Johnson had with them “How 'bout them Cowboys!” even though his GM didn’t want him.

I love MCDC, so this question is just for the sake of debate. Did Caldwell get “Stafforded” meaning he was capable of winning it all but was hamstrung by the GM who never fielded a SB-caliber roster and had to take the blame cuz he was the most visible? I mean 9/7 ain’t good enough, but we haven’t sniffed JC’s AVERAGE season of 9/7 ever since he was fired.

People have strong opinions about Caldwell. I’m just wondering if - like Stafford’s detractors - half of us are just plain wrong.

3 Likes

I always liked Caldwell and defended him quite a bit on the boards. But I wasn’t that upset to see him fired. I think if a good coach would have taken the reigns on that team they may very well have taken it to the next level.

Problem was Queef brought in a terrible human being to be coach who drove off all the talent we had

5 Likes

Obviously we’ll never know but when you consider that multiple veteran players spoke out, two things become clear …

— Caldwell was as adored and respected in that locker room as MCDC
— Patricia was a colossal disaster who everyone hated
— Quinn wasn’t capable of putting a proper team around Caldwell, and they had two competing visions (Caldwell had one, and Quinn did not)

For me, Caldwell’s firing is up there with 2014 and ‘95 with “what could have been” for the franchise.

What makes it all worse is that he was a (successful) black head coach in a league devoid of black head coaches and replaced by one of the worst coaches in league history.

18 Likes

Yes.

I argued this tooth and nail. And then I just realized anyone claiming that JC should have won with starting Zach zenner, amber Abdullah, tion greene as a RB core And a dline that was scrapped down to Jeremiah Ledbetter, and a ton of other nobodies who never made a roster once cut were just delusional and proud. (Or had other reasons for not liking JC that they were embarrassed to publicly say)

Some of the insults and comments were downright nasty. Sounded personal.

But I still stand by this. JC constantly over achieved. And nobody would be talking about “getting over the hump” if JC didn’t actually bring us to that same exact hump. Not many other coaches could have won as many games with that roster that was getting worse and worse every year.

When you are a playoff team trying to get over the hump youninfuse talent. You don’t fire the coach and then blame him for things outside of his control. Paul worrilow!? Cmon man

4 Likes

I loved Caldwell. I didn’t like how he handcuffed Matt, and didn’t unleash him until the end (I realize it was strategy).

He would need one hell of an OL, RB, and Defense to win more…but he was getting 9 wins with turd rosters.

Love Jim
Wasn’t mad when they tried to upgrade
Really glad we have the guy we have now though.

4 Likes

Thank you for that observation about depleting the talent. I thought so too and then MP came in and straight up drove off future pro bowlers like Slay and Diggs and SB champs like A’Shawn Robinson (who saw that coming).

1 Like

Caldwell took over a 7-9 lions team and ended with a 7-9 team, Jimmy took over a 3-13 Cowboys team and only won 1 game his first year but after that first year he had them rolling…I know JJ built a much better team but I think that career record thing with the Cowboys is a bit skewed.

But I said at the time it seemed like Quinn had mixed drafts building a defense for MP.

It wasn’t like we were getting more and more talent and he kept failing. He was still performing after losing studs and then having to play with tabor and jarrad.

And it’s an abominable offense and was the most obvious sabotage job to not bring in a running back. Quinn brought in Matt Asiata as competition for Abdullah who became the 4th RB and instant start on KR when the Vikings picked him up.

JC definitely failed to address the offense early with Lombardi but I honestly feel like he was obeying Mathew who had a specific vision with ebron and the saints offense that obviously backfired.

When it’s all said and done stafford will be singing the praise of JC for helping him elevate his game.

Staffords footwork, accuracy and mechanics improved considerably under Caldwell. The Lombardi offense wasn’t a fit for the talent or where Stafford was at that point in his development

In 14 all the offense had to do was be mediocre. They should have kept a shotgun heavy offense Cooter brought back in 15

4 Likes

So, wish I had mentioned this in my last post, but I think Matt is still here under Caldwell — and those two would’ve won together.

Just brutal when you think of the opportunity lost.

5 Likes

USUALLY, your owners want to win and do so A LOT, so they get who they think are the best and don’t do a half-$#$@ job or a lazy job of it. usually the people hired have a clue what they are doing period OR won bowls bringing lots of experience and knowledge. OUR Owners didn’t care if we won or lost, it was about as important to them as selecting a pair of socks to wear . WCF did not make sure The Detroit Lions had persons in the front office staff that COULD win, already DID win, or had sure knowledge how to build lines correctly from jump, and get them producing well, He got sloppy. The team lost games badly for 40,50, 60 years…there was no change, just slap the next guy in there weather he had any experience or not…what I saw was mixed up dysfunctional lines OR partly built lines, the players looked confused, lost, or out of place at times. The Lions became the laughing stock of The NFL, especially with 0-16. we have had 30 HC’s for this one team because of the slop and futility. I never got all choked up for a staff or a coach…I’m buying into THIS one yet I don’t know what they can pull of either.

Has everyone forgotten what a piss poor game manager he was.

9 Likes

No I remember the 9 and 10 man defenses he trotted out. He could have used some help there

2 Likes

He was terrible in game. Turrible turrible turrible. They actually had to take away his challenge flag control because he sucked so hard at it.

He shouldnt have been fired however, as all the positives about him did show through. He got the team to the point where competent GM work would have put it over the bar…

And by thart I mean Mayhew. Quinn didnt ruin that team with one offfseason, it was already levitating at it’s apogee through Jimbo’s culture, keeping Matty from losing games and the Matty/Calvin elite skills show.

Quinn pointed the stick straight down after hiring that fat arrogant poser shithead (abbreviated fittingly as FAPS) and he Andrea Lubitz’d us all.

Nice work WCF and Martha, you clowns.

6 Likes

JC stand there on the sideline with that same expression no matter what went down, dude looked like a damn mime.

1 Like

Willing to bet he still has a foot locker full of time outs he was too stingy to use.

1 Like

The only reason Caldwell is still brought up is because he was replaced by Patricia. Sure he was way better than Patricia, but as has already been pointed out, he was a terrible in game coach. No regrets moving on from him, just regret the direction we moved.

3 Likes

Jim Caldwell was a great head coach. The greatest Lions head coach of the Super Bowl era. The man has a +.500 record as the HC of the DETROIT LIONS!

4 Likes

Also - replace the “Patricia years” with the way Caldwell used Matt…he’d have a 4th QTR comeback record that would literally never be broken, by now.

If they had a stouter D and run game (basically a competent GM), Caldwell would have whipped a whole lot more ass.

1 Like

This makes me sad. I do like the Queef nickname though. Queeftricia…yep it sounds right. Queefsquared works too.

1 Like