The Detroit Lions put most of their eggs in Ken Whisenhunt’s basket and came up empty after Whisenhunt somewhat surprisingly decided to become the Tennessee Titans head coach. Jim Caldwell had a successful interview with the Lions after outlining what he would do to help Matthew Stafford progress as a passer, which is probably the most important thing for the Lions going forward. As I’ve said for several weeks, the Lions need a head coach who can effectively clean up Stafford’s technique in order to make him a more consistent QB and allow him to fill out his potential due to his elite arm talent.
Caldwell, who received an endorsement from Peyton Manning, is an excellent QBs coach, even though his track record as a head coach is fairly average. He’s not a great hire, but he’s a decent enough hire and would at least help Stafford improve as a passer. It’s important for Caldwell to have a strong defensive coordinator on his side, especially one with a background coaching defensive backs.
Baltimore Ravens defensive backs coach Teryl Austin was always expected to be the next defensive coordinator for the Lions, and the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Lions have indeed hired Austin. While he should help out the Lions secondary, which is the weak point of the defense for sure, he is a huge wild card due to his lack of experience as a defensive coordinator. I’m also not sure if the fact that he’s Caldwell’s long-time buddy is a good or bad thing, but this definitely looks like a wait-and-see evaluation.