‘I’m thankful’: Jim Caldwell to return as Lions coach

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Jim Caldwell

Allen Park – The Detroit Lions have confirmed coach Jim Caldwell will be back with the team next season, regardless of the outcome of the team’s playoff game in Seattle this Saturday.

Caldwell opened his Wednesday press conference thanking the organization’s decision-makers for their support.

“I want to say I’m appreciative, thankful,” Caldwell said. “I’ve expressed my gratitude to (general manager) Bob (Quinn), (owner Martha) Ford and Ford family and (team president) Rod Wood for their support.”

He finished the statement by saying he wouldn’t take any additional questions regarding his job, including when he was told he would be retained.

Despite taking the team to the playoffs in two of his three seasons, there had been some lingering doubt about Caldwell’s future after the team had lost its final three games, conceding the division title to the Green Bay Packers. The Lions finished 9-7.

Caldwell insisted the speculation never bothered him.

“The thing about coaching, every single week is exactly the same, in terms of preparation, focus, all those kinds of things,” he said. “I know you guys would love to have me listen to or read all that stuff; I do none of that. I’m here most of the time. We’re insulated and that’s the way I like it.”

Wojo: Win or lose in Seattle, Jim Caldwell should return

In three years with the franchise, Caldwell is 27-21. His .563 winning percentage is the best of any coach in team history during the Super Bowl era.

Caldwell will be entering the final season of his initial four-year contract with the team in 2017. There has not been an update on a possible extension and he declined comment.

“I’m not going to talk about those things,” Caldwell said. “It doesn’t matter, it’s all about the team.”