With just three games left in the NFL season, the coaching carousel is greasing its wheels. Soon enough, Black Monday will be here and teams will be in search of new coaching staffs to turn their team’s misfortunes into success as soon as possible.
For the Lions, this may be a reality—according to an approval poll, only 35 percent of Pride of Detroit readers approve of the job Jim Caldwell is doing in Detroit. But according to one writer, it may not be an attractive reality for a coach to pursue.
In his most recent posting for the Worldwide Leader, Bill Barnwell ranked the “Best and worst potential NFL head coach openings in 2018.” The potential of a head coaching change happening in Detroit isn’t even mentioned by Barnwell, so it’s not entirely clear if he doesn’t view the job as attractive, or if he simply doesn’t think Jim Caldwell’s job is currently in any type of jeopardy.
It seems almost certain that a place like Detroit would be considered an attractive destination. The Lions seem to have the makings of a team capable of making the playoffs—all of those makings being the all-important first step to building any modern football team: a franchise quarterback in Matthew Stafford. Along with Stafford, the current roster they have and the financial flexibility they have moving forward, Detroit seems to have much more going for it than the Arizona Cardinals (10th on Barnwell’s list) or the Indianapolis Colts (fifth).
For many fans in Detroit, Jim Caldwell has assumed the role of Public Enemy No. 1. Just over two months ago, the NFC North was ripe for the taking with the “season-long” injury Aaron Rodgers suffered in Week 6. The Lions had no excuse to not capture their first NFC North crown in over two decades, but by the looks of it, the Minnesota Vikings will assume that title as soon as this week—with either a win against the Cincinnati Bengals or a loss by the Lions and Packers.
His fourth season in Detroit, Caldwell has compiled a respectable 34-27 record, but to most, those numbers mean little, if anything at all. The two trips to the playoffs in 2014 and 2016 both resulted in losses, and without producing any postseason success—with a franchise quarterback in tow—fans have grown increasingly impatient.
With only a slim chance to make the playoffs this year, the Lions could be in search of a new head coach. After all, since Lions general manager Bob Quinn assumed his role in 2016, he’s yet to bring in a coach of his own, choosing to keep Caldwell on board when he was hired by team president Rod Wood.
On top of all of this, a report emerged before last week’s game against the Buccaneers that Caldwell’s ‘multi-year’ extension announced earlier in the year is only guaranteed through 2018.