Ravens to hire Caldwell as an assistant

January, 30, 2012
1/30/12
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The Baltimore Ravens plan to hire former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell to their coaching staff, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Caldwell is expected to be the Ravens' quarterbacks coach. He isn't expected to bring Peyton Manning along, so let's quickly end that rumor.

The Ravens should begin talks with quarterback Joe Flacco on a contract extension this offseason. It wouldn't make sense to add an injured four-time NFL Most Valuable Player into the mix. Bringing in Manning for the short term would mean Flacco isn't in Baltimore for the long term.

Being the Ravens' quarterbacks coach has served two purposes over the years: tutor Flacco as well as be a buffer between Flacco and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

Flacco has always been closer to his quarterbacks coaches (Hue Jackson and Jim Zorn) than Cameron. His relationship with Cameron has been viewed as rocky one. There were incidents where Flacco yelled at Cameron on the sideline toward the end of the 2009 season, reportedly met with Cameron about the play calling in the middle of the 2010 season and then questioned the aggressiveness of the offense this past season.

To get Flacco and Cameron "of one mind" -- as Ravens coach John Harbaugh put it -- Cameron served as the dual role as coordinator and quarterbacks coach last season. It appears that experiment is over after one season.

"The way it worked last year on offense, to me, was tremendously successful," Harbaugh said last week. "Those guys being in the room together, to me, was a smashing success."

Now enter Caldwell, 57, who has been a quarterbacks coach for 15 seasons, including seven (2002-08) with Manning and the Colts. He ended his Colts' head-coaching tenure with a 26-22 record that featured one AFC title, two division crowns and one dismal season with an injured Manning.

The hiring of Caldwell comes after he interviewed for the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive coordinator job. That was surprising for one simple fact: Caldwell has never been an offensive coordinator.

This could indicate that the Steelers are looking outside for an offensive coordinator, although their history is to promote from within. It's presumed that Ben Roethlisberger would favor quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner getting the job.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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