With Ken Whisenhunt’s decision to take the Tennessee Titans’ head coaching job, the Detroit Lions have turned their attention to Jim Caldwell, the Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported that the Lions met with Caldwell again on Monday.
Caldwell, the former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts (2009-2011), was the first candidate the Lions interviewed 10 days ago. During that process he also met with quarterback Matthew Stafford.
He coached under Tony Dungy at Indianapolis as the quarterbacks coach/assistant head coach (2002-2008) and replaced him when Dungy left.
Dungy spoke to Bill Ford Jr., on Monday to endorse Caldwell for the Lions’ vacancy, speaking of his ability to bring discipline and good character to the locker room, according to Schefter.
Also still in play could be Mike Munchak, who was fired by the Titans, and possibly Gary Kubiak, who was fired in December by the Houston Texans.
Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten told the Baltimore Sun on Monday that Caldwell has maintained a dialogue with the Lions since his initial interview.
"Jim is a very strong candidate for the Lions," Wooten told the Sun. "Detroit has said they wanted to bring back two guys to meet with ownership and are supposed to do that (Monday) and (Tuesday). We are waiting to hear back from them about Jim and whether it's a 'yes' or 'no' for him for the job. Everything has gone very well between Jim and the Lions, and we're waiting to hear. I feel good about how things are going, but nothing is final."
Caldwell, who will turn 59 on Thursday, is both offensive-minded and a former NFL head coach. In his rookie season as head coach he took the Colts to the Super Bowl and lost to the Saints.
Also, he coached in the Super Bowl with the Colts as the quarterbacks coach in Super Bowl XLI under Dungy and as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator a year ago. Both of those trips resulted in wins.
He was 2-2 in the playoffs as head coach with the Colts. In the regular season he had a record of 26-22, including 2-14 in his final season (2011) without Peyton Manning.