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Jim Caldwell to return as Lions coach in 2017

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Jim Caldwell will coach the Lions next season.

The team confirmed the news on Twitter, ending what little speculation there might have been about Caldwell's future in Detroit. The 61-year-old is now 27-21 over three seasons with the Lions, including a pair of playoff appearances. Detroit will take on the Seattle Seahawks in their Wild Card Weekend game this Saturday.

While it might make sense for someone to assume that new Lions general manager Bob Quinn wouldn't appreciate the Lions falling out of the division lead and potentially losing the opening round of the playoffs (had the Redskins defeated the Giants on Sunday, the Lions would not be in at all), Caldwell is a better option for Detroit than what is available right now. His staff, which falls under his umbrella, is highly regarded. His team weathered a series of incredibly difficult games. His quarterback should have earned an MVP nod just for his performances in the fourth quarter alone.

Caldwell rarely gets credit for it, but he should.

As many NFL teams have found out, hiring the big-name coordinator does not necessarily translate to immediate success. Around the league we are seeing that the desire to hire or retain a seasoned head coach with years of management experience is as high as ever (Tom Coughlin, Mike Smith and Josh McDaniels have all been popular names this winter, while the Bears opted to retain John Fox and the Bengals kept Marvin Lewis). Caldwell's presence means more than just continuity for the Lions, which is likely why they felt the need to squash any rumors about his future before the playoffs got underway.

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