New Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn decided to retain head coach Jim Caldwell, but don’t look at that as a commitment beyond one season.
The first big decision for Bob Quinn as the new general manager of the Detroit Lions was to either fire or retain Jim Caldwell as head coach.
The decision took longer than some expected but it was clear that Quinn entered without preconceived notions and took the time necessary to get to know Caldwell and evaluate whether their philosophies aligned enough to make it work. That process reportedly involved a series of meetings covering about 12 hours of time. That’s quite a time investment for a new general manager in his first week on the job. But while that led to his decision to retain Caldwell, it should be looked at as a decision for the short term only.
The 2016 season marks the third season of a four-year deal Caldwell signed in January 2014. It is a rarity in the NFL for someone to coach out the last year of his deal. It happened this past season only because Chuck Pagano had rejected a one-year extension. Typically, a coach is either fired or accepts a contract extension.
Gus Bradley was to enter the final year of his contract but agreed to a one-year contract extension with the Jacksonville Jaguars this past week. This just kicks the can down the road one year as the Jags will have to make another fire or extend decision to avoid a lame duck situation with Bradley in 2017.
Essentially, isn’t this what Quinn did with Caldwell?
Quinn may have decided to keep Caldwell in place for 2016 but another decision is coming a year from now when just one year remains on Caldwell’s contract.
12 hours of meetings was intense for a new general manager to evaluate an inherited head coach but the coming evaluation will be even more intense. It involves a full offseason, training camp and 16 regular season games.
Quinn’s first evaluation of Caldwell determined what happened in the short run, with the coming 2016 season to determine what happens in the long run.