Caldwell: White has done ‘tremendous job’ as interim GM

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Lions coach Jim Caldwell has said repeatedly that he’ll approach his job as usual until he’s told otherwise, and on Monday, he said that includes working for his immediate supervisor, interim general manager Sheldon White.

“I don’t know about a search, who they’re looking at or any of that stuff,” Caldwell said. “That’s not my business. But … I know who my boss is today, and my boss is Sheldon White, OK, and just in terms of the next man above me.

“And I do know that he’s done a tremendous job in the weeks that he’s been in charge; that’s what I know. Until it changes, we’ll see.”

The Lions are in the process of hiring a permanent GM to replace Martin Mayhew, whom owner Martha Firestone Ford fired in November. White took over immediately, and although he said there would be altered duties within the personnel department, he’s still the acting vice president of pro personnel, the position he had before the interim promotion.

White is also one of three men with confirmed interviews for the vacancy, as president Rod Wood said White was a candidate Sunday. Trent Kirchner, Seattle’s co-director of player personnel, and Bob Quinn, New England’s director of pro scouting, will also interview, according to ESPN.

Although White’s two-month run as general manager hasn’t included a draft, he has made several transactions during the second half of the season. Among the players White signed were defensive tackle C.J. Wilson, who’s been the No. 3 defensive tackle and is under contract for 2016, too.

“He has always been about the business of understanding the personnel that’s available in the league, and he’s also a very good evaluator,” Caldwell said of White. “All those things come into play. We have to make moves in terms of getting guys in here. That was a smooth operation; you didn’t have to re-learn or learn how to go about it, so it was smooth in almost every phase.

“He’s done a tremendous job in a tricky situation because he’s doing two jobs, the pro personnel side of it as well as the college side of it. So, that’s not easy.”