Lions Coach Jim Caldwell Praises JoePa’s Coaching Style
In his press conference Wednesday, Detroit Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell praised the philosophy that Joe Paterno had when Caldwell worked under him as Quarterbacks Coach from 1986-1992.
“When I worked for Joe Paterno at Penn State, his thing was always, play defense, have a good, sound kicking game and just don’t have your offense make mistakes, then you’re going to win the great majority of them,” Caldwell noted of Joe’s somewhat conservative style that produced two national champions and the moniker Linebacker U, a style that he has clearly incorporated into his own coaching style.
“He won quite a few games with that philosophy,” Jim Caldwell said somewhat tongue-in-cheek about the winningest coach in College Football history.
Caldwell, who coached John Shaffer, Matt Knizner, John Sacca and Kerry Collins to success in Happy Valley, also noted the benefits of having offensive firepower at your disposal as well.
“When we had Bobby Engram running around, O.J. McDuffie and Kerry Collins at quarterback and all of those backs that we had running up and down the field, it was a little bit different,” Caldwell said. “There’d be a call to open it up a little bit from time to time, so I think it just depends on the situation.”
With Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson at his disposal, the combination of elite playmaking ability on the offensive side while preaching a mistake-free game and strong defense, like Paterno one did, has helped the Lions to an NFC North-leading 4-2 record.