It’s been a long, troubling season for the Detroit Lions.
After an 11-5 season last year, with the combination of a playoff berth, the organization had high expectations coming into the 2015 season. A couple of disappointing efforts, along with a few bad breaks, see the Detroit Lions at 5-9 entering Week 16.
The Lions have endured a lot over these last four months, which includes their general manager and offensive coordinator being fired, while the rumors have been circulating as to whom the Lions will retain on their team next season.
Current head coach, Jim Caldwell, sees his job in jeopardy, and there is a lot of speculation as to what changes this team’s nucleus, regarding player personnel, will see this off-season.
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From all the speculation, it is hard to pinpoint where exactly this football team will head entering the off-season, but I do have a solution that could solve many of the Lions offensive woes.
Hire Adam Gase as your next head coach.
Gase has been one of the most highly touted offensive minds in the NFL today. Before coming to the Chicago Bears as the offensive coordinator this season, Gase worked with the Denver Broncos, and was the offensive coordinator for Peyton Manning‘s record breaking 55 touchdown pass season in 2013. His resume also includes working with the Detroit Lions as a scouting assistant, offensive assistant, and quarterbacks coach from 2003-2007.
May 27, 2015; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase (C) talks with Bears quarterbacks during organized team activities at the Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
His reputation serves him well, and it’s evident he could be the one to harness the talents of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
From my observation, Stafford draws many similarities to Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler. Although both possess exceptional arm strength and talent, they struggle with decision making on a consistent basis.
Struggling a bit last year, Cutler has seen a remarkable turn around under Gase this season.
His interceptions are down, and his quarterback rating is the highest it’s been over his 10 year career. Although the Bears have faded late, it’s safe to say they have surpassed expectations on the season as a whole.
Offensively, the success is due in a large part to Gase, who has not had a lot to work with as running back Matt Forte and first round draft pick Kevin White sustained injuries that kept them sidelined for a good portion of the season (The whole season for White).
Although I wouldn’t consider the performance of current offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter to be anything worse than satisfactory, his conservative style is not a great fit for this offense, and I would not see a lot of long term success.
I also wouldn’t consider the two year tenure of Jim Caldwell’s to be of a total failure either, but with the idea of cleaning house being implemented by owner Martha Ford, I don’t see how you can retain your head coach next season. Caldwell has a respectable offensive mind as well, but seems to lack that edge the Lions need to lead their football team.
The Lions need a cornerstone monumental guy, and my belief is Gase will be that guy who carries the capability of leading your football team for a couple decades (He is only 37). His offensive scheme is highly prolific, as he is able to tailor it to any quarterback in the league. With what he has been able to do with Cutler and the Bears this season, you can infer that success would translate over to Stafford and the Lions.
Adam Gase would be a monumental signing for the Detroit Lions, bringing immediate success while being a cornerstone economic for the offensive future. Although many question marks remain as to how the Lions want to move forward this off-season, not going after Gase would be a heavy disappointment for a team with a tremendous amount of potential.