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My thoughts on Lions hiring Caldwell

1/14/2014

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell was hired by the Detroit Lions to become their new head coach, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

As I wrote on Monday night, this is the best move for both Caldwell and the Ravens.

Caldwell certainly made an impact last season, when he took over for Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator. In the playoffs, the Ravens averaged 31 points per game and 410.3 yards.

But there wasn't the same success in Caldwell's first full season as the offensive coordinator. The Ravens averaged 20 points per game, and they scored over 20 points in five games this past season.

Here are my thoughts on Caldwell as a head coach:

Caldwell is unlike most of the NFL head-coaching candidates out there with his low-key demeanor and Super Bowl credentials. He takes a big-picture approach and is open to take input from players and coaches without feeling threatened. Caldwell is a good hire for a team looking to restore a locker room and want someone who will do so without a heavy hand.

The question with Caldwell is his track record. He essentially took over Tony Dungy's team in Indianapolis -- or should we say, Peyton Manning's team -- and guided the Colts to a 14-2 record his first season and helped them to a Super Bowl the next season. When Manning was out in 2011, the Colts fell apart and finished 2-14. That could be a red flag. There's no question that Caldwell is a good leader. What he has to prove is he's a good head coach.

If Caldwell is unsuccessful with the Lions, it'll likely be his last shot at being an NFL head coach.