Detroit Lions: Three things learned from Jim Caldwell this week
- He likes the team’s leadership. This is a key element to his plan. He tries to have at least one good leader in each position group. “The older guys are doing a great job with the younger guys,’’ Caldwell said on Thursday. “They do a great job of relaying information, getting them accustomed to doing things the way we know how to do them. I think that’s paying off.’’
- He’ll never forget kindness shown to him by the late Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders. That’s why Caldwell has college and high school coaches in to watch practices. There were several at Thursday’s OTAs. “I, on one hand, believe in it because of the fact that these men, whatever level, obviously there are no pro coaches here, but colleges, high schools, I think it’s incumbent upon us to give these guys an opportunity to come in and kind of see how we do, what we do. I was a young coach in 1981 I think it might have been. I used to go visit pro teams during the summer. Some pro teams wouldn’t let you in. One team that I had heard would let me in was the Oakland Raiders. I called, Al Davis let me come in and he spent three days with me. He walked around with me personally. I was coaching the defensive backs at that time trying to find out about bump-and-run coverage. There were two teams that were playing great bump-and-run coverage in the pros – Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders. You had Lester (Hayes) on the corner out there and Mike Haynes and all those guys that played well. I think Jack Stanton might have been the secondary coach, but he took time with me, walked me around at practice. He never left my side at practice. We’d walk over there with drill work, go through it and at night time he’d come back in at night and he and I would watch film from 10 o’clock at night until the wee hours of the morning. Go back to the hotel, get some sleep, come back and do it all over again. Three days in a row, and this was a guy who was running the whole operation. So, from that experience I really believe in allowing guys to come in and see what we do. I think that’s the way it should be. It helped me out tremendously in my career.” Caldwell said he’d like to spend more time with all the coaches. He did find time for Tom Arth, the head coach at John Carroll. Arth played quarterback for Caldwell with the Indianapolis Colts. In that meeting Caldwell said there was plenty of give and take.
- Caldwell’s golf handicap? “Severe,’’ he said at the Charlie Sanders charity golf outing on Monday. It’s a good sign for fans when a coach is not a scratch golfer. Means he’s spending more time at the facility and less on the links.