Matthew Stafford is the Key to Jim Caldwell | Robert Littal Presents BlackSportsOnline

Who the Lions Hired Doesn’t Matter if Matt Stafford Doesn’t Take The Next Step

by Phillip Jackson | Posted on Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
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It was interesting for me to sit back and watch the reaction of Lions fan as the hiring of Jim Caldwell was announced yesterday to almost unanimous dislike among fans in the city. Not that I was personally excited by it, but given the Lions specific criteria of someone with head coaching experience at the NFL level and offensive minded, I wasn’t sure what else people wanted them to do.

Caldwell comes with an interesting background, filled with great quarterback play at times (Peyton Manning helps) and some big question marks when he doesn’t have the QB to his liking (2-14 in his one season without Manning). Ringing endorsements from someone like Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning, but some doubt given the fact that the Ravens offense this season was forgettable, at best.

But all in all, this hire rides on the shoulders (and arm) of Matthew Stafford. He is the sole person that has the innate ability to either make this a great hire, or have the Lions in this same position a couple of season from now. When news broke that Stafford in fact met with Caldwell during the interview process, I was fine with it given the fact that the relationship between those two is what the future of the franchise rests on.

Caldwell comes with the ability to tutor Stafford based off working for numerous years with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. Peyton’s off the field work and preparation have long been praised by media outlets, so it’ll be interesting to see whether or not Caldwell is able to convince Stafford that that kind of preparation is what separates the good quarterbacks from the greats. While I have yet to hear Matt isn’t a hard worker, I most certainly haven’t heard he puts the time into the position that Manning does.

So hold off, on bashing Caldwell just yet Detroit. I know you aren’t ecstatic with the hire and neither am I. But the one person who can make this a smart move is Stafford. If he blossoms under Caldwell, no one will remember that not everyone was on board with the Caldwell hire. If he struggles as he did down the stretch that led the Lions to a 1-6 record, the franchise could be looking for both a new leader and a new signal caller in a few years.

 

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Sports editor over at wordonthegame.com and all around sports head. Follow me on twitter @PhilWOTG, for everything sports related.

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  1. Deon says:

    What makes John Gruden so likeable by fans? It drives me crazy he never did anything when Tony Dungy players got old in Tampa Bay. Inside note players hated Gruden and his team in 2008 quit on him. He’s not a great coach or good he’s a solid coach who lucked up and took a bunch of guys that Dungy turned into winners to a super bowl. Jim Caldwell is a great coach on the other hand and he prove that last season coming in the middle of the year and leading a offense that was horrible to a super Bowl victory. Jim Caldwell will succeed in Detroit. Tom Coughlin was hated when arrived in NY after he was fired by Jacksonville and believe Caldwell will has similar success in Detroit.

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