Caldwell kept a number of Jim Schwartz’s assistant coaches who are on the "upswing"

Posted Jan 21, 2014

Retaining eight assistant coaches under Jim Schwartz doesn’t seem like a lot when you consider the positions they coached

MOBILE, ALA. -- Jim Caldwell retained eight members of Jim Schwartz’s coaching staff.

Speaking with reporters in Mobile Monday night he made it very clear that it was his decision, and not pressure put on him by the organization, after interviewing each of the eight coaches personally.

While eight does seem like a high number, it doesn’t seem odd when you consider the positions the coaches who were kept were in.

Kris KocurekDefensive line coach Kris Kocurek (Photo: AP Images)

Where were the two most improved areas on the Lions this year?

The offensive line and special teams has to be right at the top of that list. It’s no surprise, then, Caldwell saw the value in Jeremiah Washburn, Terry Heffernan, John Bonamego and quality control/special teams coach Evan Rothstein.

What was arguably the most talented position group this season that features one Pro Bowler, one Pro Bowl alternate and an All Rookie Team member?

Is it a big surprise Caldwell decided to keep defensive line coaches Jim Washburn and Kris Kocurek?

Caldwell also said Monday he identified Bobby Johnson as a coach he’d one day want on his staff when he was an offensive line coach at Indiana University and that’s why he’s making the transition to being an assistant offensive line coach under Washburn.

Heffernan will be a quality control coach with an emphasis on the offensive line.

"A lot of them I knew," Caldwell said of the coaches remaining on staff. "The biggest thing is the fact that I respected their work. When you look at the guys that are here with us they’ve done a very nice job just in terms of coaching their position, executed things well and they’re getting better. They are obviously on the upswing."