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Study: Jim Caldwell was a fourth-down risk-taker in '14

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Jim Caldwell has never been viewed as the most daring of NFL sideline men, but a new study tells us perhaps it's time to take a different look at the Detroit Lions coach.

Football Outsiders issued its annual Aggressiveness Index last week, and Caldwell kept his offense on the field more often on fourth down than any coach in the NFL. The Lions went for it 14 times in 107 qualifying fourth-down situations. That's 13.1 percent of the time, tops among NFL coaches.

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Erstwhile Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman was second behind Caldwell, going for it on 12.8 percent of opportunities.

While Caldwell and Trestman showed plenty of onions in 2014, the title of the NFL's most aggressive coach goes to Sean Peyton.

The Aggressiveness Index was founded in 2006, as a way to -- according to Football Outsiders -- "rank coaches based on their tendencies on fourth downs in a manner that was easy to understand but accounted for the different rates at which the average coach will choose to 'go for it' in different situations." The index excludes obvious catch-up situations in the third and fourth quarter to give a more accurate representation of a coach's gunslinger mentality.

We suggest you read the full article, which lays out specific examples of how Payton, Caldwell and Trestman got aggressive in 2014.

And who was the least aggressive coach last season? That would be former Falcons coach Mike Smith, who finished well behind Jeff Fisher at the bottom of the list. This might be the least surprising thing you'll read all day.

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