Coaches are the easy scapegoat as to why the Lions have four losses. Looking objectively, Detroit has a below average roster in terms of talent. No depth at multiple positions, no true NFL-superstars, and an overall young roster have made things difficult.
Offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter has gotten the best out of Stafford and has always taken what the D has given him. The opposing defense oftentimes pushes Cooter and crew to check down and bet on the defense to rally and tackle. Although it’s frustrating when we are playing from behind, he puts the ball in the hands of the playmaker. Sometimes it works, but you always remember when it doesn’t. Other than the questionable screens, no complaints on the playcall front.
I just feel bad for Teryl Austin. He has been given literally NFL backup quality players to work with up front other than the oft-injured DeAndre Levy and Ziggy Ansah. We all saw what Austin could do with one or two elite athletes to work with. Forced to think outside the box to compensate for this year’s lack of talent, he has often found himself with egg on his face. Every coach has down years, but that doesn’t mean he is a bad coach. I’m giving Austin the benefit of the doubt this year. I’ve seen more individual player errors than I have seen coaching blunders.
And now for what you have all been waiting for, Jim Caldwell. One of the biggest storylines of the last four games is the transformation of Caldwell. His once conservative ways have turned into an aggressiveness that has never been on display before. Some even consider it too aggressive, or stupid.
A person of Caldwell’s disposition can be very easy to dislike on the field. The emotionless reactions often come across as dumbfounded or confused. The level demeanor can sometimes be mistaken for disinterest. After our fiery, truculent former HC Jim Schwartz left, Caldwell’s attitude was initially a well-received makeover. Now, he has run his course and fans are ready for another change.
It’s really this simple, Caldwell has had countless coaching errors, but they are only brought to light when they lose. The writing has been on the wall for a long time. He was set up to fail this year and never had a plausible chance for him to truly right the ship. He will be gone at the end of the year but served the purpose of Bob Quinn’s one-year GM buffer. Quinn can now pin the blame on Caldwell and have a full offseason to hand-pick the next head coach.
- FIRST-QUARTER GRADE: C
- MID-SEASON GRADE: D