The Washington Redskins fired Jay Gruden after an 0-5 start to the season, and now that Gruden is gone, many folks are beginning to wonder who could be next in Washington D.C. to lead the team. Interestingly, a few former Detroit Lions coaches have made the short list.
While the list of those coaches who might take over for the Redskins is deep, it’s interesting to see both Jim Caldwell and Jim Schwartz land on the list. Caldwell coached the Lions from 2014-2017, while Schwartz was the team’s boss from 2009 until 2013. Each have new roles in the NFL currently, with Caldwell working with the Miami Dolphins and Schwartz leading the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense.
According to the site SportsBettingDime.com, Caldwell has 18-1 odds to be the next coach of the Redskins, while Schwartz lands at 20-1. Other names are far higher on the list, including the current favorite Eric Bieniemy, the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs. Byron Leftwitch, Mike Pettine, Josh McDaniels and Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin also place on the list.
For now, the Lions former bosses seem like long shots to land the job, but each would bring their own positives and negatives to the potential candidacy in Washington.
Caldwell Stable and Possibly Willing
Arguably the best statistical coach the Lions have had in the last 20 years, Caldwell steadied the ship in Detroit off of Schwartz. He managed to go 36-28 in the Motor City, not something which is often seen out of Lions coaches. After being let go in favor of Matt Patricia, Caldwell was hired as an XFL consultant, and after that, managed to land on the staff of Brian Flores in Miami as an assistant to the head coach and quarterback coach.
In Washington, Caldwell would clean up a ton of the problems that existed like he did in Detroit and be a stable option. He interviewed for other jobs and maintained he wants back in as a coach, but age would be working against him being he is 64 years old. He does have offensive acumen, which could be a major plus for Washington given their rookie quarterback.
Schwartz May Become a Hot Candidate
Whether it’s in Washington or not, Schwartz figures to be one of the more in-demand coaches in the league. He has passed on other opportunities to get back in, but many have kicked the tires on the former Lions boss and current Eagles defensive coordinator in recent years. While in Detroit, Schwartz didn’t have a great record leading the Lions going 29-51 as the team’s leader and 0-1 in the playoffs. After going to lead the Buffalo Bills defense, Schwartz landed in Philadelphia and helped the Eagles to win the Super Bowl a few years back.
Schwartz might be a coach who is primed to learn from experience and do better in his second job than his first job. It’s fair to remember Schwartz took over a Detroit team which had gone 0-16 and had them in the playoffs within two years. One of the better defensive coaches in the league, the key question facing a Schwartz candidacy would be how the coach would handle Dwayne Haskins. Schwartz did have Matthew Stafford in Detroit, but it wasn’t until the coach left that Stafford started improving. As Patricia is proving, hiring a defensive coach can have its advantages.
Either of these coaches could desire to get back in the game, and it will be interesting to see if their experience in Detroit would either harm or benefit their potential candidacy.