It isn't that either Caldwell or Fox were terrible coaches. They both had their share of success, but just not enough of it in their most current jobs.

Caldwell's record in four years in Detroit was 36-28. That's the best of any Lions' coach in the past 50 years, but if you look closely, and the Detroit Free-Press did, only four wins against winning teams. and zero playoff wins.

So now the speculations begins on a successor. Both Detroit newspapers have lists, twelve on one, seven on the other. Given Lions GM Bob Quinn's pedigree, at the head of that list is New England Patriots Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia. But Patriots' Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels would also make sense, to run an under- performing offense. And McDaniels has been working with Tom Brady for a long time.

Obviously, two major must do's this off-season for the Lions is fix the offensive line, and with it, fix the running game.

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears
Former Chicago Bears coach John Fox with former Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell (Getty Images)

On the other side of the lake, the Chicago Bears are in a situation similar to the Los Angeles Rams were last season, with a highly drafted rookie quarterback who needs to be mentored and brought along to reach his full potential. The Rams brought in the youngest coach (31) in the NFL, and the Rams won their division.

Fox, who coached the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl prior to coming to Chicago, inherited a mess, with very little talent. The Bears still haven't had a Pro Bowl player in years. While Jordan Howard and Tariq Cohen, along with QB Mitchell Trubisky form the nucleus of the future of the Bears, there's been very little talent surrounding them.

Speculation out of Chicago is McDaniels, or Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. who is probably going to get a look from the Lions. Another name mentioned for both the Bears and Indianapolis Colts' job is Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh. It's difficult to see Harbaugh leaving his alma mater, but he's had more success in the NFL, and played for both teams. The knock on Harbaugh is he's stubborn and hard to get along with.

The next few days and weeks will be interesting. But it's the stuff dreams are made of.




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