Lions coach Jim Caldwell told reporters, including Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter), that he did not consider take over play calling duties after deciding to let go of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. While the offense won’t be revamped in a couple of days, he says that he does anticipate some schematic change taking place (link).
Caldwell also explained that he wasn’t told to make any of these coaching decisions and that team leadership council is not consulted in these types of situations, per Justin Rogers of MLive.com (on Twitter). Considering the head coach said earlier in the day on Monday that no coaching changes were coming, he either had an abrupt about-face, or wasn’t telling the whole truth either then or now.
Here’s more from the North divisions..
- No one should be surprised if Steve Smith plays next season, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com writes. Hensley theorizes that if the Ravens believed that Smith is retiring then they would entertain trade offers for him in the midst of this lost season. By holding on to him, the Ravens may have a chance to persuade him to return. Even at the age of 36, Smith has 18 more catches than anyone else on the Ravens, and his 510 yards receiving are nearly two times as much as any teammate.
- Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun also believes that the Ravens are hanging on to Smith in an effort to talk him out of retirement and he endorses that plan, particularly with the team’s dearth of quality options at wide receiver. Beyond that, Zrebiec believes that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is aware of Smith’s popularity and that he doesn’t want to see the team’s attendance suffer for the rest of the year for the sake of acquiring a late-round draft pick.
- Bears coach John Fox says that the release of Jay Ratliff was “in the best interest of the team,” as ESPN.com’s Jeff Dickerson writes. Fox didn’t elaborate on the incident that led to Ratliff’s release, but he did indicate that it was on the precipice of becoming a major issue. “That’s why you have security,” Fox said. “That’s why things are in place. Sometimes if you think you need that, that’s what you do for the safety of your building.”