Good spot for Jim Caldwell
There's already plenty of second-guessing about the Lions' choice of Jim Caldwell as head coach, especially after the team missed out on its first choice of Ken Whisenhunt. But Caldwell, the former Colts head coach and Ravens offensive coordinator, walks into a good situation with his new team.
He already has a franchise-caliber quarterback in Matthew Stafford, who has thrown for a combined 14,655 yards and 90 touchdown passes over his last three years. The Lions also have the best receiver in the game in Calvin Johnson, who has 5,137 receiving yards and 33 touchdown catches in his last three years. And the defense is stocked with some good young talent, especially with tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.
The knock on Caldwell is that he's perceived as the caretaker of the team Tony Dungy left behind in Indianapolis, where Caldwell inherited Peyton Manning and went to the Super Bowl after the 2009 season. Caldwell did an excellent job in taking over in 2012 for Cam Cameron as the Ravens' offensive coordinator, helping Baltimore win the Super Bowl. But the Ravens' offense floundered through much of the 2013 season, and there was a chance Caldwell might have been replaced as the offensive play-caller had he not gotten the Lions' job.
But Caldwell landed on his feet, and certainly has plenty to like about his new job, especially with a team that has playoff-caliber talent.