Jeff Riger: Lions Fans Should Be Jealous of the Cleveland Browns Today
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By Jeff Riger/Follow Jeff on Twitter at @Riger1984
I think it’s safe to assume that Lions fans, despite how bad things have been over multiple generations would always choose to root for Detroit rather than Cleveland. That’s a no brainer. Sure the Browns went to back to back AFC Championship games in the ’80’s, but overall Cleveland, is by far considered the much worse organization when being compared to Detroit.
But not today!
I’m actually extremely jealous of the Browns today because they have yet to hire a head coach, a position I wish the Lions were still in.
After watching the AFC and NFC Championship games on Sunday along with the rest of the country, I couldn’t shake the feeling that one of the coordinators coaches in the games will be the next great coach, a potential head man that the Lions will have never got a chance to even interview.
Detroit should not have hired Jim Caldwell; at least not yet.
Caldwell might be able to get the job down with the Lions, he might be the greatest hire ever for a team that has consistently underachieved. There was just no reason to hire him last Wednesday. According to many reports, Caldwell was not the top candidate for any other vacant head coaching gig throughout the NFL. He was even expected to have been released or reassigned by the Ravens too. Meaning, the Lions stood zero chance of losing him if they decided to wait and interview other candidates.
The Lions believed they needed a head coach with previous head coaching experience as their new leader. That’s seems silly to me! So they decided on a guy that could not win at all in his 8 seasons at Wake Forest and only lasted 3 seasons at the pro level. Yes, he went to 3 Super Bowls (2 as a coordinator and 1 as a head coach) which should not be discounted but neither should some of his poor in-game decisions or the fact that the Colts ran him out of town when he had the greatest excuse of all time on his side; Peyton Manning getting injured for the season.
If the Colts loved Caldwell that much and because he is supposed to be a “fixer” (my words) of QB’s; why not allow him to stick around and mentor Andrew Luck?
I’m not a big fan of the Caldwell hire which more than likely helped fuel my anger as I watched some of these hot shots coach on Sunday.
It killed me to see the Lions give Jim Schwartz another year after the 2012 season. With that decision they missed out on coaches like Mike McCoy, Chip Kelly and Andy Reid, all three guys who made the playoffs in their first year with their new team. By waiting until after week 17 to fire Schwartz this season, they missed out on Bill O’Brian and Lovey Smith (who they might not had a chance at anyway). And, now Detroit will never get a chance for a Darrell Bevell, Greg Roman or my favorite Adam Gase to blow their socks off in an interview. Heck, Denver’s defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has plenty of head coaching experience. Why not talk to him?
I’m not sure all or even any of the above candidates will get head coaching gigs this upcoming season, but it seems like a simple interview with all of them would be a good idea.
Bevell is credited with the finding and making of Russell Wilson, while Roman has been with Jim Harbaugh, and the Niners since 2011. And, then there is Gase! Gase is the Bronco’s offensive coordinator, a man that Manning refers to as a superstar waiting to happen. The reason I wish Gase received an interview is because he was with the Lions before. The 35 year old was responsible for Jon Kitna’s best season with Detroit. It would also be interesting to hear how he would fix the Lions, considering he is from Ypsilanti, attended Michigan State and knows intimately the problems that the organization has.
I have no idea if Bevell, Roman, Gase or anybody else will make a better head coach than Caldwell, I just know that I wish they were interviewed along with anybody else that might seem qualified.
Every time the Lions hire a new head coach it’s a big deal, but it does seem like this particular coach could be even more important considering the “win now” mentality along with some of the teams key players, mainly Calvin Johnson getting older.
Caldwell might very well turn out to be the best candidate out there; however it just seems like a lot more interviews by a team that consistently makes the wrong decision would have helped to make that determination even easier.
Who would have thought I would ever be jealous of the Browns? But Lions fans might eventually be jealous too if Cleveland hires that next great successful coach that Detroit never even bothered to talk to.
What do you think?