ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell wouldn’t say Friday whether or not he’s been told if he would be returning to the club for the 2018 season or not.
“If I was, I wouldn’t discuss it with you or anything of that nature,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell deflected a question about whether or not he intends to coach in 2018, too, saying that it “depends what the Lord has planned for me, how about that.”
Caldwell said he isn’t concerned about his future -- a message he’s steadfastly held whenever he’s been on the hot seat in Detroit over the past three seasons. His only focus, he said, is on this Sunday against the Packers. He also said he doesn’t tell his family anything different and that they go about their business normally.
The 62-year-old is on the hot seat despite a 35-28 record as Lions coach with two playoff appearances in four seasons. He has the second-best winning percentage of any Lions coach in the modern era at .556, with Potsy Clark (.669 winning percentage from 1931 to 1936), Buddy Parker (.671 from 1951 to 1956), Dutch Clark (.636 from 1937 to 1938) and Joe Schmidt (.558 from 1967 to 1972) being the only coaches in franchise history who lasted more than one season with better winning rates than Caldwell.
Only six Lions head coaches who have been with the club for more than one season have posted overall winning records, and before Caldwell, none since Schmidt had a 43-35-7 record from 1967 to 1972.
Caldwell said the process of evaluation for everything begins Monday, including player evaluations and, likely, Caldwell.
Caldwell said his message to his team this weekend won’t be different than it has been in weeks past. He said he won’t mention any questions about his future -- and that he hasn’t done that in the past, either. Players have largely supported Caldwell and almost to a man speak highly of their fourth-year coach, who they often praise for taking care of them well.
He also was instrumental in Matthew Stafford’s development, as he’s become a top-10 quarterback, statistically. He’s increased his completion percentage, cut down his interceptions and largely has become a better decision-maker. Caldwell deflected credit for this earlier this week, but the changes -- both statistically and just with the eye test -- have been obvious.
When asked if he deserves to coach the Lions in 2018, Caldwell joked that he was waiting for the question because he’s been asked it multiple years.
“The fact of the matter is that’s not for me to judge,” Caldwell said. “I do my job. I work at it. I work at it hard. I deal with my people fairly. We try to win as many games as we possibly can. That decision is up to someone else, not me.”