Few people have worked with Jim Caldwell longer, and know him better, than Hall of Famer and former Colts general manager and president Bill Polian.
The two spent 10 years together in Indianapolis when Caldwell was assistant head coach, and then head coach from 2002-11. Both were fired after the disastrous 2-14 2011 season when quarterback Peyton Manning missed the entire year because of a neck injury.
Polian was named NFL Executive of the Year six times over a career that spanned nearly 30 years in NFL front offices, so he knows a little bit about what makes a good team tick.
When it comes to the Detroit Lions, and the decision by new general manager Bob Quinn to retain the services of Caldwell this offseason, Polian said there's probably not a better man for the job right now.
"I think when you saw what he did with them two years ago, when they were healthy, and they had (Ndamukong) Suh and a complete cast on defense, there's no question that the players responded to him," Polian said.
"If you talk to the players, even today, they are 100 percent in his corner. They believe he takes them in the right direction, that he takes care of them, that he gets them to the game in good shape physically, mentally and strategically."
Polian said bad luck and taking too much time to adjust to the loss of Ndamukong Suh from a strategic standpoint on defense defined the Lions' 2015 season to him.
Losing Suh as the focal point to the defense was a bigger blow to the Lions last season than what losing Calvin Johnson could be to the team in 2016, according to Polian.
But he did commend Caldwell and Co. for getting the ship righted the second half of the season. Polian thinks the way the team played down the stretch in 2015 is more indicative of what Caldwell can do than the 1-7 start.
"I'm glad the new administration kept him and I think he'll justify their faith in him," he said.