Friday, January 3, 2014
Caldwell officially interviews with Lions
By Michael Rothstein
Jim Caldwell has officially interviewed with the Detroit Lions.
The Baltimore offensive coordinator -- and former Indianapolis Colts and Wake Forest head coach -- was brought to the team’s facility on Friday morning for an interview, per the team’s official reporter Tim Twentyman and John Wooten, the chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance.
“The thing that Caldwell brings to the table is the calmness of him as a person,” Wooten told ESPN.com on Friday. “I go back to coach [Tom] Landry and Paul Brown, guys that I worked under or had been around.
“The players certainly exemplify what you see them doing and the way the coaches react. If you have a coach who is hollering and screaming and yelling at the officials, the players are going to do that.”
Caldwell, Wooten said, is not that type of man. It would also be a large departure from Detroit’s former coach, Jim Schwartz, who was in multiple incidents either yelling at opposing coaches, opposing players and, at the end, even the Detroit Lions fan base.
And the Lions' players were often among the most penalized in the NFL.
Caldwell was not made available to reporters Friday after his interview and the Lions facility was announced as closed for the day. He did, though, speak with the Lions' official reporter.
“This is an unusual situation because of the fact that you don’t typically walk into a place that has a talented quarterback,” Caldwell told Twentyman. “The experience of working with Peyton Manning has helped me a tremendous amount.
“He’s a guy with a lot of drive and ability but he’s also a guy that has talent but works extremely hard and sets a great standard for the individuals that want to perfect their craft.”
Caldwell coached with Indianapolis from 2002 to 2011. He spent six of those years as Manning’s quarterbacks coach and was the Colts’ head coach for three years. Before that, he spent one year with Brad Johnson in Tampa Bay as his quarterbacks coach.
He was the head coach at Wake Forest from 1993 to 2000 and before that was the quarterbacks coach at Penn State from 1986 to 1992, where he worked with Kerry Collins.
So, he has some history with quarterbacks and one of the priorities for the Lions is finding someone to work with Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford.
He is the first of multiple candidates expected to interview for the job. Wooten said he was told the Lions would meet with many candidates before bringing in the final three to meet with the Lions ownership.