NFL Wire News

Lions players fear Caldwell will be fired


The Sports Xchange

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Detroit Lions players didn’t want to think about the possibility of Jim Caldwell becoming the next coach fired after losing in London.

“I love Coach Caldwell,” wide receiver Lance Moore said. “He’s not just a really good coach, but he’s a great man, a great person.

“He understands how to win, and we have to go out there and we have to play better for him, not just for each other but for our coach because he’s a guy that definitely does an awesome job of taking care of us (and) looking out for us. He doesn’t deserve (this). We’ve got to play better.”

Caldwell fired three assistant coaches last Monday, so there’s a chance he or the team’s executives decide it’s time for more change. After such a lopsided game, especially against a Chiefs team that was 2-5, anything is possible, but the players stood behind their coach.

“I hope and pray it doesn’t change,” defensive end Darryl Tapp said. “We have a good foundation here. Coach Caldwell is second to none the way he handles each individual player, the way he handles the staff, the way he handles the media and our fan base. It’s unfortunate he’s going to have to be in this situation.”

–With a 17-yard reception in the second quarter on Sunday, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson eclipsed 11,000 receiving yards in his career and accomplished the feat in his 127th career game, faster than anyone in NFL history.

Torry Holt of the St. Louis Rams previously held the record after accumulating 11,000 yards in his first 131 games. Johnson needed only 21 yards in the game to reach the milestone.

–With the poor execution, it’s hard to tell if new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter actually did anything to improve the offense. Cooter took over for Joe Lombardi last Monday, but coach Jim Caldwell said the 31-year-old “did fine” under the circumstances.

“I thought Jim Bob called a good game,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “We just didn’t execute. We had miscommunications in certain areas. We had guys doing stuff, including myself, that aren’t going to help us win. I’ve got to play better, and so does our team.”

The Lions did run a bit more no-huddle early in the game.

“I think with the personnel we have that’s something that we can do,” wide receiver Lance Moore said of the no-huddle.

NOTES: Wide receiver Calvin Johnson (ankle) exited Sunday’s game in London after a 30-yard catch in the fourth quarter and didn’t return, and there is there’s no update on his status. … Cornerback Rashean Mathis (illness) was a surprising inactive on Sunday after being listed as probable. … Cornerback Darius Slay went through the concussion protocol after exiting in the fourth quarter, but it remains unclear if he sustained one. … Cornerback Josh Wilson (neck) exited the game twice because of the injury. … Defensive tackle Andre Fluellen (hip) left the Chiefs game in the second half and did not return.

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