NFC East: Jim Caldwell

Updated Redskins coaching scorecard

January, 8, 2014
Jan 8
The Washington Redskins have been busy when it comes to talking to prospective head coaches, or trying to line up interviews. Here’s where things stand:

Already interviewed:
  • Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
  • Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
  • Baltimore offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell.
  • Dallas special-teams coach Rich Bisaccia.
  • New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.
  • Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
Scheduled to interview:
  • Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin on Thursday.
Requested permission to interview:
  • Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
  • San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.
  • San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
  • San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

Redskins interview Perry Fewell

January, 6, 2014
Jan 6
The Washington Redskins interviewed New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell Monday for their vacant head coaching position. He's the fifth person to interview for the job -- and plenty more remain as potential candidates.

The Redskins interviewed Fewell at Redskins Park, the team confirmed Monday. The team is confirming interviews that are held in Ashburn because they're with candidates whose teams are out of the playoffs. When they meet with coaches still in the playoffs, they let others confirm the interview in case they want to keep it a secret. Also, when they meet at Redskins Park, the group includes owner Dan Snyder, general manager Bruce Allen and members of the front office. When it's out of the area, only Allen is involved.

In addition to Fewell, the Redskins have interviewed Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Dallas special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell.

Fewell, 51, was a hot candidate in 2011 after his defense finished seventh. He interviewed with four teams after that season. Fewell served as defensive coordinator in Buffalo from 2006-09 and went 3-4 as the Bills' interim head coach in 2009.

Here's a look at the Redskins' coaching scorecard thus far.
The Cincinnati Bengals' misfortune could turn out to be the Washington Redskins' gain. The Redskins have requested permission to interview two Bengals' assistant coaches, now that their season is over.

The Redskins, along with three other teams, have requested permission to speak with Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. Minnesota, Tennessee and Detroit also requested permission, according to a league source. The Redskins do not yet have an interview scheduled with Gruden. They've also requested permission to speak with Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, a league source told ESPN.

A league source said the Redskins might have interest in former Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur, currently the Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator. He, too, is available to be interviewed. The Redskins can interview coaches of teams still alive in the playoffs, but they can't hire them until their seasons are over.

The Redskins are interviewing New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell Monday. They've already spoken to Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Dallas special teams coach Rich Bisaccia.

The Redskins also have interest in Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, but no interview had yet been scheduled in part because he was going to be at the National Championship game Monday night.

Redskins interview Jim Caldwell

January, 5, 2014
Jan 5
The Washington Redskins interviewed former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell for their head coaching vacancy Sunday, as expected.

Caldwell is the fourth person Washington has spoken with about their head coaching vacancy and more will be talked to this week. But he's the first former head coach that they've formally interviewed. They've also talked to Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Dallas special teams coach Rich Bisaccia and Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. They are scheduled to interview New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell Monday, according to John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation.

The Redskins have expressed interest in Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, who did interview with the Houston Texans. But the Redskins were still trying to line up an interview as of early Sunday night.

Also, they can now talk to assistant coaches from the Cincinnati Bengals: offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, both of whom were said to be on the Redskins' list. If interested, they can also talk to San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt next week, even though the Chargers remain alive in the playoffs.

Caldwell served as Tampa Bay's quarterbacks coach in 2001 and was in the same role with Indianapolis from 2002-08 -- while also serving as an assistant head coach. He became the Colts' head coach in 2009, went 14-2 and lost in the Super Bowl to New Orleans. But he was fired after a 2-14 season -- with quarterback Peyton Manning sidelined -- in 2011. He took over as the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator late last season and stayed in that capacity in 2013.

Caldwell met with owner Dan Snyder, general manager Bruce Allen, director of pro personnel Morocco Brown and director of player personnel Scott Campbell. In Detroit, Caldwell met with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. But he did not meet with Washington’s Robert Griffi III, who is on vacation.

Caldwell does not have any other interviews lined up and told Wooten, whose group focuses on minority coaches in the hiring process, that he was most interested in these two positions.

Caldwell prepared for his Redskins interview by breaking down all of Griffin’s plays. He also went over all the scouting reports Baltimore’s pro staff had on the Redskins. He did the same thing before his interview in Detroit.
The Washington Redskins' coaching search has made the turn toward college. They have requested an interview with Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

A Vanderbilt spokesman said the school is not commenting on the interest in Franklin.

(Update: The Redskins will interview Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell on Sunday morning, according to John Wooten, the chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation. And they will interview New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell this week.)

Franklin has been a hot name this offseason after turning around the once-dormant SEC program. The Commodores were 2-10 the year before he arrived and are 23-15 in his first three seasons. They’ve played in three consecutive bowl games; they had never played in consecutive bowls before Franklin.

He interviewed for the Houston Texans job and his name has been mentioned for the Penn State opening as well. In 2009, Franklin was named Maryland's head coach in waiting. But when Ralph Friedgen was fired after the 2010 season, Franklin went to Vanderbilt.

Franklin has spent the bulk of his career in college, though he coached Green Bay’s wide receivers in 2005 – and was on the same staff as Darrell Bevell, who interviewed with the Redskins earlier this week. Bevell is now Seattle’s offensive coordinator.

The names connected to Washington's opening thus far, in addition to Franklin: Bevell, Rich Bisaccia, Jim Caldwell and Sean McDermott. After the San Diego-Cincinnati game, it's likely other names will surface, with multiple possibilities in Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and assistant head coach Hue Jackson as well as San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.


Redskins to interview Caldwell

January, 1, 2014
Jan 1
The Washington Redskins will interview former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell next week, according to John Wooten, the chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation. It's uncertain what day he will interview.

At this point, he's the third name that has surfaced in the Redskins' quest to replace fired Mike Shanahan. They've spoken to Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and will interview Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott this weekend. Also, the Redskins have requested permission to speak with New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson.

Also, Wooten said their foundation has recommended that Washington interview Cincinnati's assistant head coach/running backs Hue Jackson, also a former Redskins running backs coach and ex-Oakland Raiders head coach. But Wooten said he did not know if the Redskins have contacted the Bengals for permission to speak with him. They can't interview him now anyways because the Bengals play a first-round playoff game this weekend.

Caldwell has served as the Raiders' offensive coordinator since late last season and also is the quarterbacks coach. He posted a 26-22 record as the Colts' head coach from 2009-11; that mark included a 2-14 final season with quarterback Peyton Manning sidelined. He went 26-63 in eight seasons as the head coach at Wake Forest.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation compiles a list each season of coaches they feel are deserving of interviews. In addition to the above two, that list also includes former Redskins secondary coach Jerry Gray, Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Indianapolis offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, Cleveland defensive coordinator Ray Horton, former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, Carolina assistant head coach/defensive backs Steve Wilks, Indianapolis offensive line coach Harold Goodwin, Green Bay assistant head coach/linebackers Winston Moss, Chicago defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. They also included college coaches James Franklin (Vanderbilt), Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M), David Shaw (Stanford) and Charlie Strong (Louisville).

The latest on Steve Spagnuolo

January, 17, 2012
Remember the Family Guy episode where they talk about the Emperor figuring out the secret to great Star Wars dialogue, and they cut away to him and he's going, "Something something daaark siiiide... something something complete..."? Well, I kind of feel like, if I want to do a Philadelphia Eagles post these days, I could just write, "Something something Steve Spagnuolo something something Eagles..."

To that end, as Eagles fans continue to ponder whether Spagnuolo will return to the organization and replace Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator, here is the latest:

1. Our Adam Schefter is reporting that Spagnuolo interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts on Monday for their defensive coordinator position. The Colts just fired head coach Jim Caldwell, so things are clearly in flux there, but if they interviewed a defensive coordinator candidate before firing their head coach, you'd have to think they either know who their head coach is going to be or they're not going to let him pick his own. Regardless, the Colts are a team to add to the list of teams interested in Spagnuolo.

2. You can subtract a team, too, as the Falcons have hired Mike Nolan to be their defensive coordinator. Atlanta was one of the teams reportedly interested in Spagnuolo, along with the Colts, Eagles and Saints. If Spagnuolo was their first choice (and we don't know that he was), then the Nolan hire would indicate that Spagnuolo had turned down the Falcons and decided where to go. But that's speculation, so please don't take it any other way.

3. Castillo still has the job. This is an important thing to remember. The Eagles finished eighth in the league in total defense, and a lot of things happened throughout the year to indicate dramatic improvement under Castillo in his first year as a defensive coach. It's possible the Eagles don't want to make major changes to the defensive coaching staff for the second year in a row. Jim Washburn is also still in place as defensive line coach, and his arrival a year ago prompted a change in the Eagles' defensive scheme. Assuming Washburn stays (and doesn't jump to St. Louis with his former Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher), you wonder whether a new coordinator could overrule Washburn's belief in the "Wide 9" scheme that got so much publicity (and a certain degree of public scorn) in Philadelphia this year.

It's not as simple as just hiring Spagnuolo, even if the Eagles are the team to which he wants to go. Lot of moving parts yet. But now that Andy Reid is back from his vacation and some coaches are starting to settle into new roles around the league, things could pick up on this front soon.

Could Grigson take Marty Mornhinweg?

January, 11, 2012
The Indianapolis Colts have hired Ryan Grigson, who had been the Philadelphia Eagles' director of player personnel, as their new general manager. The Colts announced Wednesday morning that Grigson would replace Bill Polian, who was fired last week.

Not fired last week was Colts head coach Jim Caldwell, though it's entirely possible that (a) Colts ownership wanted the new GM to decide on a head coach and (b) Grigson will want to bring in his own coach. Albert Breer of the NFL Network speculated on Twitter that the Grigson hire could open up an opportunity for Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to get another shot at head coaching, and that makes a lot of sense.

In spite of his flop as Lions head coach, Mornhinweg is extremely well respected in NFL circles. Many people believe he wasn't ready for the Detroit opportunity, and that Lions management didn't provide him with a chance to succeed in the role. As a result, he's on a lot of short lists of head-coaching candidates around the league.

Furthermore, Mornhinweg is well known for his ability to develop quarterbacks. And with the Colts apparently set to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick in April's draft, they're likely looking for a coach with such a reputation.

No idea, of course, what Grigson is planning. And as mentioned, the head coach job in Indy is not, currently, open. But this is one possible consequence of the Colts snatching away an Eagles personnel guy to run their front office, and it's worth keeping an eye on.

Cowboys' fish story: Ones who got away

December, 15, 2009
Johnson/Tower/Schnellenberger Getty ImagesWant to know who could've been the Cowboys' coach? It'd make you settle for Jimmy's predecessor at 'The U' to be his sixth successor at Jerry's Tower of Babel.
As some of you know, I now write a weekly column called Obstructed View that is exclusive to This column has been universally embraced and celebrated by the sports fans of Dallas-Fort Worth and surrounding counties.

In this week's Obstructed View, I took a look at the head-coaching candidates that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones let get away three years ago. Three of those former candidates -- Tony Sparano, Norv Turner and Jim Caldwell -- have combined to go 19-0 in the month of December. But then, who's really counting?

The stunning visual complement to this column was brought to you by's Scott Noll, a man who truly appreciates the work of Howard Schnellenberger. Thanks for making us a part of your afternoon.