DETROIT – Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he plans on going to work Monday morning as usual and that “nothing at this point has changed” as far as his status as the team’s head coach and that he’s “still working.”
Caldwell just finished his fourth season as the Lions head coach and his job security has been speculated over the last month, more so over the past week after Detroit was eliminated from the playoff race following a 26-17 loss to Cincinnati last week.
All week, Caldwell fielded questions about his future and for the most part stuck with his usual answer of saying he’s not worried about it and just focused on the next game. Now, with no more next games, Caldwell was sticking with business as usual until it isn’t usual anymore.
He also said he doesn’t plan on defending his job to management.
“Have you ever heard me defend or anything,” Caldwell said. “Not to anybody. It’s not just to you. It’s not to anybody. I don’t make any excuses. It’s just not the way I live my life. We go out and we do what we do and let everybody make an assessment from there.
“What’s the real assessment is wins, wins and losses. That’s the key.”
When it comes to that, Caldwell has been successful. By beating Green Bay, 35-11, the Lions had back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1993-to-1995, when Detroit had three straight years over-.500. The Lions also swept the Packers for the first time since 1991 and Caldwell became the first Lions coach since Buddy Parker to have three winning seasons in his first four years as head coach from 1951 to 1954.
When asked what he was most proud of over the last four years, Caldwell deflected the question. Caldwell made two playoff appearances with the Lions in the first four years and compiled a 36-28 record.
“I just think there’s some things that got done,” Caldwell said. “But I’m not done yet, so we’ll see.”
After the game ended, Caldwell jogged to midfield, briefly spoke with Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy and then headed straight for the locker room, stopping to chat with a Packers assistant along the way. When he came into the post-game press conference, he brought his family and his three grandchildren, many of whom were wearing Lions gear.
He said he planned on going home with his family to celebrate New Year’s Eve and that was going to be his focus on Sunday evening. On Monday morning?
“You know, I’ll go to work,” Caldwell said. “That’s it.”