Players make final push for Jim Caldwell

It's become clear that Jim Caldwell has the full support of his locker room to remain head coach of the Detroit Lions in 2016.

Players in the locker room reiterated that again Monday as they cleaned out their lockers and started to head home for the offseason.

Veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis said Caldwell is the best coach he's ever played for.

Lance Moore has played 10 NFL seasons with a few stops along the way. He took it a step further when asked about Caldwell. Moore said it would be an organizational mistake if the permanent GM decided to move on from him.

"If they do choose to go in a different direction, what kind of message are you sending to the guys that are suiting up for you every single Sunday?" Moore asked.

"You're starting back from zero. You're starting from the ground again and I don't think that's the right move to make.

"If certain changes need to be made, I don't think that's one of them. Hopefully, the right people hear this. Hopefully, they understand where I'm coming from because you don't come across guys like (Caldwell) very often. He's a gem."

Moore said Caldwell has a beat on the locker room like no other coach he's ever had.

"I'm the biggest Jim Caldwell fan there is," he said. "I've been around enough coaches to know a great one when I finally get a chance to work with one.

"I've never been around a coach that knows the pulse of the locker room or has the constant communication with his players the way coach Caldwell does."

Caldwell's program is player-friendly in that his goal every year is to be as strong a football team as possible come November and December. One way to accomplish that is to take care of the players and help keep them fresh for gameday.

He's also direct and to the point. Players alway say they know where they stand with him. He's genuine, which guys respect.

"Caldwell is hands-down probably the best coach I've ever been a part of or been under," Mathis said. "I'm sure a lot of guys in this locker room feel that way and I'm sure a lot of guys in this locker room will look forward to playing with him again."

Mathis said the players really shouldn't have to speak for Caldwell because the way he transformed the culture in the locker room over the last two season speaks for itself.

Even safety Glover Quin was outspoken when asked about Caldwell's future Monday before he left for home.

"Everybody loves coach Caldwell," Quin said. "He's great. He's a great man. Great leader. Great coach.

"He does a lot of things for the players, holds everyone accountable and he's honest. I think players respect that and I think he has everyone's support in the locker room."

Quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson pledged their support for Caldwell after Sunday's win in Chicago.

There seems to be a lot of people who want Caldwell to stick around, but the permanent GM will have the final say in the coming weeks.

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