Blogs > Lions Lowdown

One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Detroit Lions: Reggie Bush wants to play 5 more years

Reggie Bush, who is signed with the Detroit Lions through 2016, told PFT Live on Friday that he’d like to play five more seasons.

“I feel good at this point, obviously I’m saying that because I’m not getting hit right now,” the 28-year-old Bush told PFT Live. “I still feel like I can go, I don’t know how many years left, God willing I can play at least another five years. I would love to get at least another five years in.”

Bush joined the Lions in March 2013, signing a four-year $16 million deal.

He was drafted in 2006 by the New Orleans Saints and played there five seasons. He played with the Dolphins in 2011 and 2012.

Bush rushed for 1,006 yards with the Lions, just the second time in his career he hit the 1,000-yard rushing mark. Also in the 2013 season he caught 54 passes for 506 yards.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Gunther Cunningham still available; could he join Schwartz in Buffalo?

No news yet of employment for Gunther Cunningham, the Lions defensive coordinator for the past five seasons.

Cunningham, who started coaching at Oregon in 1969, was let go after Jim Schwartz and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan were fired.

If his age — 67 — works against him that’s too bad. He might joke about being old, but he had a good connection with his players. He and Louis Delmas were close. It wasn’t unusual to see Cunningham walk out onto the practice field chatting with offensive players before getting down to business.

Cunningham led the defense to improvement in the 2013 season.

Schwartz has been hired as the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills. It’s a good spot for him. Remember he was the Titans’ defensive coordinator for seven seasons before moving to Detroit.

Wonder if Schwartz will bring Cunningham to Buffalo to coach linebackers or the defensive line. He has experience in both areas. In fact, Cunningham was the Titans linebackers coach for three seasons (2001-2003) while Schwartz was the defensive coordinator.

Linehan has been hired by the Dallas Cowboys as the passing game coordinator.
It’s a unique situation in Dallas (big surprise!) where Linehan will call the plays while Bill Callahan remains as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
He said last season he wasn’t ready to quit. Maybe the decision won’t be his.

New Lions coach Jim Caldwell hired Teryl Austin as the defensive coordinator and Joe Lombardi as offensive coordinator.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Transcript of live chat on Detroit Lions

If you missed Thurday's live chat on the Lions, check out the transcript to see what you missed. Plenty of talk on free agents, the draft and Jim Caldwell. Join me at 3 p.m. every Thursday for a live chat. And, as always, ask me questions any time on Twitter @PaulaPasche.


Test your trivia knowledge at fund-raiser for Detroit Cristo Rey High School

Here’s a sure-fire way to help cure the winter blues and it’s for a good cause. 

Test your sports trivia knowledge against Detroit sports media celebrities on Wednesday (Jan. 29) at the second annual Trivia Challenge to benefit Detroit Cristo Rey High School.

The event starts at 7 p.m., at Dino’s Lounge in Fermdale (on east side of Woodward just south of Nine Mile.)

Sports media celebrities expected to appear include Fox 2’s Jennifer Hammond; 97.1 The Ticket’s Bob Wojnowksi, Jamie Samuelson and Mike Stone; Detroit News columnists John Niyo and Terry Foster; and me.

If you’re not familiar here’s a brief description of the school from their web site:

Detroit Cristo Rey High School is a coed Catholic high school that provides high-quality college preparatory education to students from economically disadvantaged families in Detroit.

“Cristo Rey utilizes a longer school day and year, academic assistance, and counseling to prepare students with a broad range of academic abilities for college. All students at Cristo Rey participate in a work study program through which they finance the majority of the cost of their education, gain real world job experience, grow in self-confidence, realize the relevance of their education, and look forward to a brighter future.’’

Should be a fun evening for a great cause.

Detroit Lions season ticket prices increase 8.2 percent

Detroit Lions season ticket prices will increase an average of 8.2 percent for the 2014 season, the team announced on Monday.

The Lions will offer variable ticket pricing — assigning each of their preseason and regular season games to one of three pricing categories. 

Preseason game tickets will decrease by 70 percent and will be the lowest category. The highest-priced category includes high-profile matchups or prime-time games such as Thanksgiving. Season ticket members will pay the lowest ticket price for their seating location for all games.

“Data from the secondary market has equipped us to make more educated and fair pricing decisions based on anticipated demand,” said Todd Lambert, vice president of ticketing and suite sales. “We’re now using that information to offer a better ticket experience for season ticket members who previously paid the same price regardless of the matchup or viability as a regular or preseason game.”

The average season ticket price will be $83.36 per game. In comparison, in 2013 the average season ticket price was more than $85 for 22 teams.

“The decision to incorporate an increase in overall ticket pricing was made after careful consideration,” said team president Tom Lewand. “To remain competitive in the NFL and offer an extraordinary fan experience, we need to be able to invest right back into our product and that’s exactly what we’ll continue to do.”

The Lions were 7-9 last season which led to the firing of Jim Schwartz. 

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Jim Schwartz hired by Buffalo Bills as defensive coordinator

Jim Schwartz will coach two games at Ford Field next season, but he’ll be on the visiting sidelines for preseason and regular season contests.

Schwartz, who was fired by the Lions on Dec. 30, has been hired by the Buffalo Bills as their defensive coordinator.

“We are excited to add a talented and accomplished coordinator in Jim Schwartz to our staff,” Bills coach Doug Marrone said in a statement. “Schwartz has led aggressive and productive defensive units throughout his time in the NFL and we feel our defense will continue to improve under his leadership.”

Schwartz replaces Mike Pettine who has been hired as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

Prior to being hired in Detroit five seasons ago, Schwartz was the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans for eight seasons (2001-2008).

Schwartz, 47, was 29-51 in five seasons (2009-2013) as head coach of the Lions. He led the team to a 6-3 start last season, but they collapsed losing six of the final seven games. The Lions will benefit from Schwartz’s hiring. His contract had offsets which will help the Lions with the $12 million he was owed, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

The Lions have hired Jim Caldwell, former Ravens’ offensive coordinator, as head coach. Teryl Austin will be the defensive coordinator with Joe Lombardi as offensive coordinator. Eight of Schwartz’s assistants have been kept on Caldwell’s staff.

Todd Downing, who was fired as Lions’ quarterbacks coach, will serve in that same position with the Bills.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh could hire Jay-Z as agent

Jay-Z representing Ndamukong Suh? It’s likely to happen according to Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports’ NFL Insider. Andrew Brandt of tweeted Thursday night that he was hearing the same thing.

The Detroit Lions defensive tackle fired his agents, Eugene Parker and Roosevelt Barnes, on Wednesday. He must wait five days before hiring a new agent.

Suh and the Lions are expected to start talks about a contract extension soon. Currently Suh’s hit on the salary cap for the 2014 season would be more than $22 million. He could be looking at a contract similar to the five-year, $55 million deal of Bengals’ defensive tackle Geno Atkins.

Roc Nation Sports, the sports agency founded by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and the Creative Artists Agency, represents New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia  and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant among others.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Olympics: Ugliest sweater ever?

My biggest question today: What was Ralph Lauren thinking?

This is what Team USA will wear at the opening ceremony at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Minnesota Wild's Zach Parise models the sweater here.

Yikes ...

At least years from now if the Olympians are invited to an ugly sweater party, they will have something to wear.

Detroit Lions earn Mel Kiper's only 'A' for 2013 draft class after one season

It should come as no surprise really that ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has given the Lions his only solid A for the 2013 NFL draft.

He evaluated each team with his post-draft grade. Now he has given new grades after analyzing contributions from the draft class after their rookie season.

Kiper thought the Lions would go with Ezekiel Ansah or cornerback Dee Milliner with their fifth overall pick. Ansah was the guy and he proved Martin Mayhew was right.

Kiper includes undrafted free agents in his analysis which helped the Lions’ grade. Starting right tackle LaAdrian Waddle and tight end Joe Fauria were both undrafted.

“The draft doesn't end at Mr. Irrelevant, and Detroit showed why,’’ KIper noted.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions face contract issues with Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley

Defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley present differing contract situations for the Detroit Lions in the next few months.

First, Suh. General manager Martin Mayhew has said both sides are interested in a contract extension. 

Suh’s salary cap hit in 2014 is more than $22 million. An extension would give the Lions more salary cap space.

That’s not news. The whole situation is now complicated because Suh has fired his agents Eugene Parker and Roosevelt Barnes, according to

He can’t hire a new agent for five days from the time the agents receive his letter, due to union rules. 

This could make him one of the more popular players this weekend at the Pro Bowl with agents swarming about everywhere.

It could also slow down the contract extension process. 

Fairley, a first-round pick in 2011, will be in the fourth year of his rookie contract in 2014. Per the collective bargaining agreement, the team must decide whether to exercise the fifth-year contract option on first-round picks before May, according to a Lions web site story.

Fairley’s had an inconsistent career so far. He’s amazing at times, not so much at others. He played a career-high 15 games this season with a half-dozen sacks, also a career high. He also had two forced fumbles and two fumbles recovered.

Mayhew told reporters at the Senior Bowl he was good with Fairley’s weight of 320 last season, but said he could “re-position” some of that weight. Perhaps that has something to do with all the weight Fairley carries in his belly. (Remember when he chest/belly bumped Suh and knocked him to the ground?)

Fairley originally signed a four-year $9.889 million deal in 2011. He will make $1,723,500 in 2014.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Diehere. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions hire Alan Williams as secondary coach, per report

According to a report, new Lions’ coach Jim Caldwell will add a second former NFL defensive coordinator to his staff.

Alan Williams will be hired as the Lions' defensive backfield coach according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Williams was the Vikings’ defensive coordinator for the past two seasons. He was fired when the Vikings fired Leslie Frazier and cleaned house. The Vikings had the NFL’s 31st ranked defense in 2013 allowing 397.8 yards per game.

Caldwell and Williams worked together on the Tampa Bay Bucs and Indianapolis Colts. Williams was the defensive backs coach for the Colts from 2002-2011.

Teryl Austin, the Ravens secondary coach from 2011-13, will be the Lions new defensive coordinator.

Last week Caldwell hired Bill Sheridan, former Giants and Bucs defensive coordinator, to coach the Lions’ linebackers.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Transcript of Thursday's live chat on Detroit Lions

If you missed the live chat on the Lions, check out the transcript here. Plenty of talk about problem areas at wide receiver and defensive back, along with discussion on Jim Caldwell and his new staff. Join me at 3 p.m. every Thursday for a live Lions' chat. Also, ask questions any time @PaulaPasche on Twitter.

Detroit Lions: Joe Lombardi named offensive coordinator

The focus has been on Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions offense in two big Detroit Lions’ hires in the last week.

First Jim Caldwell, who developed Peyton Manning, was hired as head coach.

On Tuesday, Joe Lombardi, who has spent the last five seasons working with Drew Brees as the New Orleans Saints quarterbacks coach, was hired as the offensive coordinator.

Lombardi is the grandson of Vince Lombardi who died nine months before he was born.

During Caldwell’s introductory press conference he didn’t have a clear answer on if he or the offensive coordinator would be calling plays.

Under Lombardi’s watch, Brees has thrown for more than 5,000 yards in each of the last three seasons.

Lombardi has made his own way in the coaching ranks after Mike Kelly hired him at the University of Dayton in 1996 after he graduated from the Air Force Academy and served two years.

Lombardi won the Super Bowl in 2010 which gave him the opportunity to hoist the trophy named after his grandfather. That Saints team included Lions running back Reggie Bush who enters his second season with the Lions. In fact, Lombardi briefly served as the Saints running backs coach in 2008.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Calvin Johnson was 'basically catching with 9 fingers'

STERLING HEIGHTS — Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson can’t remember when Calvin Johnson’s injured finger was straight like his other nine. 

“It was a while, I don’t remember it being normal, a couple years. He couldn’t straighten it. So basically he was catching the ball with nine fingers,’’ Burleson said on Monday at an appearance for the Defeat Hunger Bowl at Walmart.

After Johnson’s finger surgery, he sent Burleson a text complete with photo.

“First of all he never texts anybody he’s the worst,’’ Burleson said. “He sent out these Freddy Krueger Saw 6 pictures. It was dee-sgusting. it was literally the worst thing I’ve ever seen. It was gross.

“I’m glad that his finger is better. We had a lot of jokes that we poured down on him about that afflicted finger,’’ Burleson said.

Johnson didn’t look like himself in more than a few games last season with more drops than usual.

Now we know why. What we don’t know is why it took so long to have the finger surgically repaired.

Johnson also has had minor knee surgery since the season ended.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions: Jim Caldwell says footwork drills key to improving Matthew Stafford

It’s not the shoes, it’s the footwork.

One of the reasons Jim Caldwell was hired to coach the Lions is his ability to work with quarterbacks.

Caldwell watched game film of every throw made by Matthew Stafford last season before his initial interview. During the interview process he talked with Stafford but they didn’t go over the film.

Here’s what Caldwell told Peter King who writes Monday Morning Quarterback (

“... We have used a set of drills in coaching over the years that I think has added some consistency to all the quarterbacks we’ve coached. The great majority of poor throws — people look at the arm, and that’s important obviously, but I think footwork is the key. I can pull up any game film and show you how our footwork drills help you. In a nutshell, the feet and eyes work together. If I’m throwing in a particular direction, my footwork is pointing in the same direction — directly at the target. We’ll work on it with Matthew, and he will do them flawlessly.”’

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions: Jahvid Best returns to Cal as student, assistant coach

Jahvid Best loves football.

After his last concussion with the Detroit Lions, the running back worked hard to get back on the field. He was probably in the best physical condition of his life and had built up the muscles in his neck to give more support to his head. It was noticeable just looking at him.

Best tried but could not get cleared to play for the Lions again.

Now it seems, he has found a good avenue for his love of the game.

Best is returning to his studies at Cal and expects to be hired as a student assistant coach working with the running backs, according to Jeff Faraudo of the Bay Area News Group.

Best was a first-round draft pick (30th overall) by the Lions in 2010. He started nine games in his rookie season. Then in August 2011 he suffered a concussion in a preseason game. On Oct. 10, in the Monday Night Football win over the Bears, he rushed for 163 yards, including an 88-yard touchdown run. On Oct. 16 he suffered another concussion. It was his final game.

He was placed on injured reserve for the 2012 season and released by the Lions in July 2013.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Jim Caldwell hires Ron Prince as assistant head coach/tight ends coach

Jim Caldwell has a few remaining spots to fill on his staff including offensive coordinator, but it is starting to shape up.

Ron Prince was named the assistant head coach and tight ends coach on Saturday.

Prince and Caldwell worked together two years at Indianapolis (2010-2011) when Caldwell was head coach and Prince was the offensive line coach.

After the 2011 season the coaching staff was dismissed. Prince wen to the Jacksonville Jaguars as assistant offensive line coach in 2012 and spent last season as the offensive coordinator for Rutgers. He was also head coach at Kansas State (2006-2008).

Bobby Johnson, the Lions’ tight ends coach last season, has been kept on but will move over to be assistant offensive line coach.

Prince has specialized mostly as an offensive line coach. This will be his first experience with tight ends.

Johnson was the assistant offensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills in 2010-2011, his first two seasons coaching in the NFL.

One of the biggest hires has yet to happen — offensive coordinator. Until that person is hired it’s unlikely they will hire a wide receivers and quarterbacks coach.

On Friday it was announced, Caldwell is keeping eight coaches from Jim Schwartz’s staff.

Teryl Austin has been named defensive coordinator while NFL veteran coach Bill Sheridan, a Detroit native, has been hired to coach the linebackers.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions bring Bill Sheridan back to his home state

It seems Bill Sheridan just can’t stay away from Michigan, his home state.

New Lions coach Jim Caldwell has hired Sheridan, most recently the defensive coordinator in Tampa Bay, as the linebackers coach. 

Sheridan grew up in Detroit where he attended De La Salle. He went to college across the state at Grand Valley State.

His first coaching job was at Royal Oak Shrine from 1981-84. And, oddly enough, while there he coached Lions team president Tom Lewand, according to Tim Twentyman of

“He’s a Michigan guy, you know, but a guy who I think can really give us some balance,’’ Caldwell said. “We have some experience and we have some guys that maybe can give us an opportunity to kind of work in concert with some of our youthful exuberance.”

Sheridan served the last two seasons with the Bucs where he helped develop linebacker Lavonte David and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. He also helped the Bucs’ run defense go from last to first in the NFL between 2011 and 2012.

Obviously his experience as a defensive coordinator was a plus.

“Well, you know, I think what it does is anytime you have extensive amount of experience in this league, it’s worth its weight in gold,’’ Caldwell said. “It’s not absolute because, you know, I came from the college ranks and had no experience in this league and coached the quarterbacks at Tampa and it didn’t bother Tony (Dungy) at all during that time. So, you know, I just think it depends on the person.

“But yeah, it does lend you to believe he’s seen every team probably in the league, understands most concepts that he’s going to see, how to defend them and things of that nature. So yeah, I certainly do feel good about his experience,’’ Caldwell added.

Sheridan was linebackers coach for the New York Giants (2005-08) and Miami Dolphins (2010-11) and also the Giants defensive coordinator in 2009. He won a Super Bowl XLII ring with the Giants when they beat New England.

Sheridan has also had a couple stints at Michigan. First as a graduate assistant (1985-86) and then under Lloyd Carr (2002-04) as linebackers and defensive line coach. He also coached at Michigan State (1998-2000).

Sheridan’s son Nick was a Michigan quarterback (2006-2009) and is currently quarterbacks coach at the University of South Florida.

The Lions also announced on Friday that Caldwell would retain eight coaches from Jim Schwartz's staff.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions: Jeremiah Washburn one of eight Jim Schwartz coaches retained

Jeremiah Washburn, the Lions young offensive line coach, was one of several members of Jim Schwartz’s staff who have been retained by Jim Caldwell, it was announced on Friday.

To keep it in the family, Jeremiah’s dad, Jim Washburn has also been kept on. He joined the Lions last season as an assistant defensive line coach.

Other assistants who will stay include defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, tight ends coach Bobby Johnson, running backs coach Curtis Modkins, assistant offensive line coach Terry Heffernan and quality control/special teams Evan Rothstein.

It was reported on Thursday that special teams coordinator John Bonamego would return.

Also it was announced earlier that Teryl Austin, former Ravens defensive backs coach, has been named defensive coordinator.

Bill Sheridan, the former Tampa Bay defensive coordinator, has been hired to coach the linebackers. Sheridan was a defensive coach at Michigan (2002-04) where his son Nick was quarterback (2006-2009).

The younger Washburn (see photo) put together a solid unit which included two rookies (right guard Larry Warford, right tackle LaAdrian Waddle) along with left tackle Riley Reiff, a second-year player with limited time in his rookie season. Of all the Lions' assistants, it seemed he had one of the best chances to stay.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Jim Caldwell deserves a chance; 4 more thoughts from press conference

This isn’t my first rodeo — I’ve seen coaches come and I’ve seen coaches go. If they weren’t excited at their introductory press conferences, they should have never been hired.

This brings us to Jim Caldwell who was introduced on Wednesday as the Lions’ 26th head coach.

I was there, and here are five thoughts:

1. Give the guy a chance. Everything you’ve read about him being genuine was on display at his presser and his time talking to reporters off the stage. Of course, he said he wants to win a championship right away. He took the Colts to the Super Bowl in his first season as head coach there. He’s got two Super Bowl rings. He knows more about winning championships than any other Lions’ coach in recent history. Just because the Lions have had some bad coaching hires, fans’ anger shouldn’t be taken out on Caldwell.

2. While Caldwell always looks calm on the sidelines he was passionate on Wednesday. He’s excited and it came through. Reminded me of a preacher at the podium and not just because he quoted a few phrases from the Bible. His wife said when he got the call that he had the job he fist-pumped and yelled out, “Outstanding.’’ Believe me, there’s fire in that belly he just has it under control.

3. He sees nothing but talent in quarterback Matthew Stafford. Pretty much raved about Stafford, who will be entering his sixth season. He’s not going to reel him in — he’ll still be able to make explosive plays. But he will have parameters. You can tell Caldwell was impressed with Stafford and his commitment from their meeting during Caldwell’s first interview on Jan. 3. 

4. Loves the nucleus of the team and has spoken to Stafford (again), Ndamukong Suh and Stephen Tulloch since he was hired on Tuesday. Also, he’s texted with Calvin Johnson who he comfortably called C.J. He knows more about the defense since he was the Ravens’ offensive coordinator on Dec. 16 when Baltimore beat the Lions 18-16 on Monday Night Football when Justin Tucker nailed a 61-yard field goal with 38 seconds left. But he’ll know all the nuances of the offense soon.

5. On the like-ability quotient he scores high. Don’t think he’d be a good politician because he seems so honest. His wife Cheryl is a gem too. Will be writing more about their personal life in upcoming days.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions: Transcript of live chat with emphasis on Jim Caldwell

If you missed Thursday's live chat on the Lions, check it out here. Had a great discussion about Jim Caldwell, his staff and possible roster moves in offseason. Join me at 3 p.m. every Thursday to discuss the Lions. It's always lively ...

NFL draft: Mel Kiper has Lions selecting a cornerback in first round

While the NFL draft is four months away — it's in May this year — it's never too early for Mel Kiper's first mock draft. Is it?

The ESPN draft analyst revealed his Mock Draft 1.0 today on

I'll spare you the suspense when it comes to the Lions first-round pick at 10th overall.

Kiper has the Lions selecting cornerback Justin Gilbert (6-0, 200 pounds) out of Oklahoma State.

Kiper's comments include this: "... Gilbert would help the cause coming off a season where you could argue that no cornerback in college football performed better. He has the size to compete with bigger wide receivers and the agility and speed to run with anybody. He also brings strong return skills.''

Please, please, please remember it's early in the process.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions: Jim Caldwell won't show emotions on the field

We will get to know new Lions coach Jim Caldwell over the next several months. At first glance, he looks like the most calm coach ever.

In almost every photo he has the same look on his face. (Check out photo gallery.)

Don’t think he’ll be throwing his headphones after a game or fist pumping on a good play. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The guys owns two Super Bowl rings, so there's that.

Tony Dungy worked with Caldwell for eight seasons — one in Tampa Bay and seven in Indianapolis. Caldwell was the quarterbacks coach/assistant head coach with the Colts before he took over when Dungy retired and was the head coach from 2009-2011.

Dungy knows Caldwell well.

“He is cool and he is going to be calm and disciplined,’’ Dungy said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “I think that’s the image that people see when they look at him on the field, they see a stoic person. He’s going to be in thought, thinking about the next move. 

“He’s not going to be a highly emotional guy on the field, but Jim is a great, great person — high character, high values, strong Christian all of that is going to come across to the players,’’ Dungy said. “They’re going to love playing for him. He’s going to have them accountable, but he’s going to make it fun.’’

Jeff Saturday, the long-time Colts center, also knows Caldwell after working with him for 10 seasons.

“He’s not known as the most charismatic guy, that’s not true when he’s in a team setting,’’ Saturday said on an ESPN interview.

Caldwell will be introduced to Detroit at a 4 p.m. press conference today (Wednesday).

 (Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions: Names surface for Jim Caldwell's staff (UPDATED)

While Jim Caldwell hasn’t yet been introduced as the Detroit Lions coach, names are surfacing as possibilities for his staff.

ESPN’s Ed Werder has reported that Bill Lazor, the Eagles quarterbacks coach, will be Caldwell’s offensive coordinator. Lazor has worked as quarterbacks coach with the Redskins (2006-07) and the Seahawks (2008-09). 

Clyde Christensen, the Indianapolis quarterbacks coach, has also been mentioned as a possible offensive coordinator.

Caldwell and Christensen worked together for 10 years with the Colts. Christensen was wide receivers coach (2002-07), assistant head coach/wide receivers coach (2008) and offensive coordinator for the three seasons that Caldwell was the Colts’ head coach (2009-11).

Teryl Austin’s name has surfaced as a possible defensive coordinator. He is currently Baltimore’s defensive backs coach.

He and Caldwell worked for the Ravens the past two seasons. Also Austin was the Wake Forest defensive backs coach (1993-95) when Caldwell was the head coach there. They also coached together at Penn State.

Also Ron Prince, currently the Rutgers offensive coordinator, has been mentioned as a possible assistant. Prince was the assistant offensive lines coach for the Colts in 2010-2011 when Caldwell was head coach.

The team has yet to announce the time and day for a press conference to introduce Caldwell.

Jim Schwartz, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and wide receivers coach Tim Lappano were fired on Dec. 30. At the time general manager Martin Mayhew said when a new coach was hired, they would ask him to consider to keep some of the current assistants. But Mayhew said the final decision would be up to the new coach.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Lions' hire of Jim Caldwell praised by long-time Colts center Jeff Saturday

Jeff Saturday, the long-time Indianapolis Colts center, thinks Jim Caldwell is a great hire for the Detroit Lions. Saturday was interviewed on ESPN’s SportsCenter today shortly after word broke of Caldwell’s hire.

“This team is loaded with talent both offensively and defensively, like you said they do lack discipline. A number of games they cost them selves with silly penalties or silly mistakes. Jim Caldwell will bring discipline, he’ll bring consistency and a stability to this organization,’’ Saturday said.

“He’ll sit down with guys, he’ll put a plan in place that he knows can be effective and knows it will win games. Those three things with the accountability and the discipline that he brings to the table. This is a perfect fit for the DL and a good hire by those guys,’’ he added.

Caldwell was the Colts quarterbacks coach (2002-2008) working with Peyton Manning and then promoted to head coach (2009-2011) after Tony Dungy retired.
Saturday said Caldwell should get “a great deal” of credit for Manning’s success.

“Listen every player has to be coached and Peyton Manning wants to be coached and always wanted to be coached. He wants a guy who’s committed to the organization and the team as he is, that was Jim Caldwell for him. He’s not afraid to correct or to talk about here’s a mistake you made. That’s what Caldwell bought to us.

“He has a great offensive mind, he knows how to work with quarterbacks to get the most out of them. He did it with (Joe) Flacco, he did it with Manning and he’ll do it with (Matthew) Stafford in Detroit.’’

Saturday said that Caldwell isn’t afraid to criticize his players.

“He comes with such a calm demeanor you never feel attacked as a player you always feel like he’s trying to build you up as a player,’’ Saturday said.

Caldwell seems to have a quiet personality.

“He’s not known as the most charismatic guy, that’s not true when he’s in a team setting,’’ said Saturday who worked with Caldwell for 10 seasons.

Can Caldwell make the Lions a playoff team next season?

“Absolutely,’’ Saturday said. “I could not be more excited for Caldwell and the Detroit Lions, this is a fantastic fit.’’

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Detroit Lions: Ravens' Jim Caldwell named coach, per reports

ALLEN PARK — Jim Caldwell has been named coach of the Detroit Lions according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Caldwell, who is coming from the Baltimore Ravens where he was offensive coordinator, was the first candidate interviewed by the Lions just days after they fired Jim Schwartz. During his interview he met with quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Caldwell’s expertise is on the offensive side of the ball which was the similiarity between all four candidates. They all had NFL head coaching experience also.

Caldwell worked for Tony Dungy at the Indianapolis Colts as quarterbacks coach/assistant head coach for seven years (2002-2008). He worked with Peyton Manning who won three NFL MVP awards during that stretch. The Colts also won Super Bowl XLI (2006).

When Dungy retired after the 2008 season, Caldwell took over and brought the Colts back to the Super Bowl where they lost to the New Orleans Saints.

Caldwell was fired after three seasons (2009-2011) as the Colts’ coach. In his final season in Indianapolis, Manning could not play because of his neck injury, and the Colts went 2-14.

Caldwell, who will be 59 on Thursday, was hired by the Ravens as a quarterbacks coach for the 2012 season. Then late in December 2012, the Ravens promoted him to offensive coordinator after they fired Cam Cameron.

Tony Dungy has spoken to the Lions about Caldwell according to several media reports. Caldwell also worked for Dungy as quarterbacks coach at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2001.

Caldwell has a similar personality to Dungy — cerebral, genuine, thoughtful and dignified — according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch column by Bernie Miklasz written just before the Colts’ Super Bowl appearance after the 2009 season. 

In that same column, Miklasz said Caldwell earned the respect of the Colts’ veterans when Dungy’s son committed suicide late in the 2005 season. Caldwell took over when Dungy left to be with his family.

Miklasz wrote: “The Colts pulled themselves together and defeated Seattle by 15 points, and Dungy returned the following week. But Caldwell's calm, firm leadership impressed the players and Colts executives.

"It was a difficult time," Caldwell said. "Our goal was to return the team to Tony in exactly the same way he found it. It was also important that we stayed steady and be a pillar of strength for the guys. And that was extremely important in a very difficult time."

Perhaps the biggest controversy surrounding Caldwell came in the 2009 season when the Colts were 14-0 and he sat the starters which led to a loss to the Jets.

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