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Jim Caldwell not taking over play calling from Joe Lombardi after rough start

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he is not considering taking over play calling from Joe Lombardi after the franchise once again struggled to create much on offense in a loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Caldwell did not elaborate on why he has not considered the possibility, just offering “short answer, no,” when asked if he would be doing it.

He was then asked what would have to happen for him to take over play calling from Lombardi and he explained it is “not an easy fix.”

“We’ve got a lot of time left. I really do believe, without question, everybody thinks it’s an easy fix. It’s not an easy fix. It’s not that simple,” Caldwell said. “It takes work and I think we’re on the right track. I just think that we obviously, we’re just kind of missing a little bit here or there which is kind of enough to slow us down.

“I think in the preseason we were humming along pretty well and obviously the first half of the San Diego game, we were humming along pretty well. We’ve got to get back to that.”

Worth noting here the Lions offensive starters did not play all that often in the preseason, as is the case with most teams around the league. Calvin Johnson and Joique Bell did not play at all. And the Lions offense began struggling after Matthew Stafford suffered a right arm injury on the first series of the second half against the Chargers in the opening week.

Since that point, Detroit has been remarkably inefficient. The Lions are the worst rushing team in the NFL. Stafford has the No. 25 QBR (45.0) and the Lions have the No. 27 total offense in the league.

When asked if he felt play calling was among the issues the Lions have right now, Caldwell deferred, instead placing blame on the execution of the plays Lombardi called.

“Well, what I think is that it still boils down to execution, to be honest with you,” Caldwell said. “That’s where I think our issues lie.”