Two weeks ago, I was kind in assessing that Lions head coach Jim Caldwell seemed unsure why his team was playing so poorly when he blamed the Lions loss to the Arizona Cardinals on turnovers, and not the root cause of those turnovers–the putrid offensive line play.
After Sunday’s post-game press conference, it’s tough to be so kind.
Caldwell appears as if he deserves to be the worst-ranked head coach in the NFL.
And it’s not because he didn’t opt to kick a field goal on fourth down late in the fourth quarter with his team down two scores.
And it’s not that the entire Lions coaching staff missed the fact that Calvin Johnson’s miraculous “jump ball” catch at the goal line actually broke the plane of said goal line, and should have been ruled a touchdown.
Caldwell is failing his team, this city, and Lions fans everywhere. Because he either truly believes that his offensive line has been playing well, or he lacks the intestinal fortitude to come right out and place blame where blame should be placed.
“Well, you know, I think we were protecting pretty well up until this game. We had minimized it, and then we just had a barrage of them, all a few too many. There were different issues.”
–Lions head coach Jim Caldwell
First of all, that doesn’t even make sense.
Secondly, is he serious when he says the offensive line has been protecting pretty well up until this game?
Anyone who has watched all seven Lions games this season wouldn’t have to look at a stat sheet, or look at NFL offensive rankings to know that this offense, under offensive coordinator (for at the very most nine more games with this team) Joe Lombardi cannot block up front.
I’ll give Caldwell credit when he said that “we had a couple backs that didn’t do what they were supposed to do on a couple plays. So we’ll look at that and work to get them straightened out.”
But if he can’t admit that this team’s woes start at the inept offensive line, and therefore on Lombardi’s watch, I no longer give him the benefit of the doubt of being unsure. He’s downright ignorant of that fact.