Lions coach Jim Caldwell in limbo after finishing season 7-9

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) Jim Caldwell was cool and confident as he deflected questions about his future.

Even though the Detroit Lions left their coach in limbo Monday, a day after they won at Chicago to finish 7-9 in his second season in Detroit, Caldwell insisted he was conducting business as usual.

''We are still working,'' he said. ''Still under contract.''

The Lions have been searching for a new general manager since firing Martin Mayhew midway through the season, and will begin interviewing candidates this week. They plan to let the new GM decide whether Caldwell stays or goes.

If Detroit decides to fire Caldwell, he will be on a short list of relatively successful coaches to lose their jobs after two seasons.

Caldwell has led the Lions to an 18-14 record and one playoff appearance.

Just eight coaches - only one in more than half-century - lost their job in the league with a winning record in the regular season over two years with at least one postseason appearance, according to STATS. The last one was Chan Gailey, who was fired by the Dallas Cowboys after the 1999 season.

Lions safety Glover Quin said players did as much as they could to make a case for the franchise to keep Caldwell by winning six of the last eight games after a 1-7 start.

''He's a great, great man,'' Quin said after cleaning out his locker. ''Great leader. Great coach. He holds players accountable and I think he has everyone's support in the locker room.''

The Lions might lose a key assistant coach while they look for a new GM, and possibly a new coach.

Caldwell confirmed Teryl Austin is scheduled to interview this week with the Cleveland Browns, one of ''several teams'' interested in Detroit's defensive coordinator.

''He'll be an exceptional head coach,'' Caldwell said. ''He's a motivator. He's very, very good strategically, technically in terms of football. He knows football inside and out.''

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