Lions to hire Jim Caldwell as next head coach

Jim Caldwell watched every pass Matthew Stafford threw this year to prepare for his interview with the Detroit Lions. Next year, hell have an even better vantage point.

The Lions hired Caldwell to be their 26th head coach Tuesday, a person familiar with the situation tells the Detroit Free Press, ending a search that spanned more than two weeks and saw the Lions miss out on at least one of their top candidates. The person could not speak publicly on Caldwells hiring because because the formal announcement had not yet been made by the team. (USA Today)

Caldwell became the second minority candidate to land a head-coaching job this month, joining new Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith.

Caldwell was the first person to interview for the Detroit job, followed by former Texans coach Gary Kubiak, former Titans coach Mike Munchak and Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.

Detroit was spurned by Whisenhunt, thought to be the top choice, on Monday when he chose the Titans job. (ESPN)

If Jim Caldwell is hired by the Detroit Lions, it would make life easier for the Baltimore Ravens and their offensive coordinator.

The worst-case scenario is Caldwell not getting a head coaching job this offseason. That would lead to a tough decision for the Ravens as well as Caldwell.

The Ravens admire Caldwell as a person and as a coach, but the offense finished 29th in total yards and 25th in scoring in his first full season as coordinator. And, even if the Ravens want him to return, I’m not entirely sure Caldwell wants to come back as the playcaller.

Caldwell came to the Ravens before the 2012 season as a former head coach whose expertise was developing quarterbacks. He was hired to be in Joe Flacco‘s ear, not run an entire offense. Caldwell had never been an offensive coordinator in his previous three decades of coaching. If you remember, Caldwell was reluctant to replace Cam Cameron at first a year ago but he did so because the Ravens convinced him that it was best for the team. The rest is Super Bowl history.

The results were not as memorable or successful in 2013. The offensive line struggled to open holes in the running game and pass protect. Flacco threw a career-worst 22 interceptions, and running back Ray Rice averaged a career-low 3.1 yards per carry.

It would be in everyone’s best interest to have a fresh start. Caldwell is better suited to running an entire team, and the Ravens can hand the reigns of the offense to someone who is more committed to it for the long term. (ESPN)

After guiding Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco to the game’s greatest heights, Jim Caldwell will be hired by the Detroit Lions to do the same for young Matthew Stafford.

Caldwell immediately impressed the Lions earlier this month with his decision to break down Stafford’s 2013 game film before sitting down for an interview. Along the way, he won over the young quarterback, but now Caldwell must hold Stafford accountable for his up-and-down play.

Asked this month if he’d be willing to work with a passing coach, Stafford told reporters: “Probably not.”

Those days are over. Gone is Jim Schwartz and his laissez-faire approach to Stafford’s wayward mechanics. Caldwell has been hired because Detroit’s brain trust wants a hands-on coach to guide its quarterback’s career arc — and with it the fate of the Lions. (

This is a hire that will almost certainly raise questions. Yes, Caldwell hits almost all of the markers the Lions were searching for in a head coach: prior head-coaching experience, an offensive background, a pedigree working with quarterbacks. And yes, Caldwell is by many accounts a good and decent man who can bring discipline, respect and high character to the Lions’ head-coaching position.

Plus, he has the support of his former boss, Tony Dungy, and his former quarterback, Peyton Manning. Dungy told ESPN Insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen that Caldwell is a “great match” for the Lions and that multiple former Colts called Detroit in support of Caldwell as head coach. (ESPN)

There’s nothing outwardly charismatic about Jim Caldwell. He doesn’t dazzle. He doesn’t excite. He maintains a steady emotional equilibrium that makes you wonder whether there’s something actually beating beneath his chest.

The Detroit Lions lacked that calming demeanor last season, panicking rather than persevering as they blew an endless string of fourth-quarter leads. Confidence breeds tranquility, and the Lions believe they’ve found the steady hand to stabilize a shaky team.

Caldwell wasn’t the Lions’ first choice as coach, but he could be the right fit. (Detroit Free Press)

The Detroit Lions didn’t get their top choice. A day later, they’ve quickly locked up their Plan B.

Detroit has hired Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell as its 26th head coach. He replaces Jim Schwartz, who was fired after five seasons and a 29-51 record.

Caldwell becomes the first black coach in the Lions’ 83-year history. (MLive)

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