The Detroit Lions wasted no time making changes in the new year.
Detroit Lions General Manager Bob Quinn has informed Jim Caldwell that he will not be returning as head coach.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 1, 2018
Despite leading the Lions to a second consecutive 9-7 finish, and a 35-11 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers in yesterday’s regular-season finale, the team has determined that back-to-back winning seasons was not enough for Caldwell to retain his job. He accrued a 36-28 record in four seasons at the helm of the team, and two playoff appearances, although both resulted in first round exits.
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The writing certainly appeared to be on the wall for Caldwell after the team laid an egg in week 16, after an inexcusable 26-17 loss to the lowly Cincinnati Bengals, officially knocking them out of contention for a spot in the playoffs.
While we don’t know exactly what the timeline for hiring a new coach looks like, current New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia seems to be a front-runner for the job. Since word began to spread that a move at head coach was likely going to happen, Patricia’s name has been the focus in just about every rumor regarding the team’s direction. Despite not having any head coaching experience, he led the Patriots to a top ten scoring defense this season and is widely regarded as a defensive mastermind.
Also included in some rumors is current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. He racked up a record of 11-17 as the head man of the Denver Broncos before being fired in 2010.
Although the Lions can interview candidates for the job beginning immediately, none of the coaches who are currently in the playoffs can be officially hired until their season is over.
Caldwell, 62, inherited a Lions team that has back-to-back losing seasons before his hiring in 2014. In his first season with the team, he led them to the playoffs with an 11-5 regular season, which tied for the second most wins in a season in team history.