Detroit Lions to interview Jim Caldwell for head coach

The first known interview for the Detroit Lions head coaching vacancy will apparently be taking place today. Jim Caldwell, the current offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens will be in town vying for his case for the job.

With Bill O’Brien heading to Houston and Lovie Smith supposedly going to Tampa Bay, there are a couple options off the table for the Lions.

Who is he?

The 58-year old has coaching experience in both college and the NFL. He served as an assistant for a number of college teams before getting his first head coaching job with Wake Forest. Beginning in 1993, Caldwell was only able to tally one winning season, which came in 1999.caldwell 2

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Caldwell served as an assistant for Tony Dungy’s Buccaneers and then followed him to Indianapolis until 2009. After Dungy’s retirement, Caldwell was selected as his successor. His first season turned out to be his best at the helm of the Colts, as they reached the Super Bowl and finished 14-2 in the regular season. Just a couple seasons later, Peyton Manning missed the entire season with a neck injury, the Colts won just two games and Caldwell was fired.

Shortly after his dismissal, the Ravens signed him to be their quarterbacks coach in January of 2012. Later that season, the Ravens fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Caldwell would fill the open coaching spot heading into its Super Bowl matchup with the 49ers and into this season. The Ravens would go on to win the Super Bowl 34-31.

Is he a good fit?

He has had some success as a head coach in his career, albeit rather limited in the NFL. His rookie coaching season with the Colts could be a product of having one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history in Peyton Manning and benefiting from the team Tony Dungy left him.

However, he does have experience working with quarterbacks, as he served as the quarterbacks coach with the Super Bowl champion Ravens. The Lions’ search for a head coach has to be focusing on a guy that can help Matthew Stafford overcome some late season blunders and work on his mechanics, and Caldwell could potentially fill this need.

Tony Dungy said in a recent interview that he has no plans of coming out of retirement, but if he did, he would want the Lions’ job. His close connections with Caldwell could influence the Ravens OC to gun for the opening. 

We could know more following the interview today whether or not Caldwell will ultimately end up on the Lions’ sideline next season, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Ken Whisenhunt seems to be the favorite candidate for the job considering his success as head coach and his close ties with Lions’ ownership. It has been reported that there is mutual interest between the Lions and Whisenhunt.

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