Five reasons it was smart for Detroit Lions to sign Jim Caldwell to extension

He has led Lions to the playoffs in 2 of last 3 seasons

Jim Caldwell has signed a multiple year contract extension, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Caldwell, who is entering his fourth season with the Detroit Lions, will not talk about his contract. He’s been asked about it multiple times and said the only two things he is concerned with are his men and his mission. He repeated that again when asked Tuesday. During the Monday night win at the Giants, ESPN announcers suggested that the Lions ought to get Caldwell locked up for the long run.

Caldwell, 62, was hired in January 2014 after the firing of Jim Schwartz. When Bob Quinn was hired as the general manager in January 2016, his first big decision was to keep Caldwell on board.

Schefter reported that the extension was actually signed months ago.

Five reasons this was a good signing:

1. Since Caldwell was signed in January 2014,  the Lions have made the playoffs in two of the three seasons. Caldwell has changed the culture in three years. That cannot be underestimated.

2. The Lions — rookies and veterans alike — respect Caldwell and enjoy playing for him. They don’t have to say that. You can hear it when they talk about their approach to each game and each day of practice. Their words echo Caldwell’s.

3. Caldwell has hired a solid staff including defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. It doesn’t stop there either. He has quality position coaches throughout his staff.

4. Monday’s win over the Giants was Caldwell’s 50th game. He owns a 29-21 record. Those 29 wins are for most for a Lions’ coach in his first 50 games since Buddy Parker in the 1950s. This is the first time the Lions have started 2-0 under Caldwell and the first time overall since 2011.

5. Caldwell is the calming influence daily including Sundays on the sidelines. He is unjustly criticized for not showing more emotion. That is not who he is. Plenty of successful coaches through the years have been calm on the sidelines. Caldwell’s demeanor is contagious among the players. They remain poised which is key to making comebacks and winning games.

Caldwell and the Lions host the 2-0 Atlanta Falcons at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

 

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Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on Amazon.com. She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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