Jim Caldwell

Dolphins Hire Jim Caldwell

The Dolphins have officially announced Jim Caldwell as their assistant head coach/QBs coach. Interestingly, their press release did not mention the hiring of Dom Capers as defensive coordinator, a move that has been expected over the last week. 

Caldwell, the former Colts and Lions head coach, interviewed with the Browns, Cardinals, and Jets this offseason for their head coaching vacancies. The Lions made the postseason twice during Caldwell’s tenure in Detroit. And, with the Colts, his teams went 26-22 with one AFC title and two divisional championships.

New Dolphins head coach Brian Flores does not have previous head coaching experience, but Caldwell can provide valuable counsel for him in his first year at the helm.

Capers, 68, recently turned down the Bengals’ DC job, leading many to believe that he would be sign on for the same role in Miami. As of this moment, that has not happened.

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Coaching Rumors: Vikings, Kubiak, Dolphins

Here are the latest coaching rumors from around the NFL:

  • The Vikings are in play for Gary Kubiak, according to Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). The OC job is already occupied by Kevin Stefanski, but Kubiak could work with him on that side of the ball. Kubiak’s son, Klint, was on the Vikings’ staff in 2013-14 and worked with Stefanski during that time, so there’s some degree of familiarity there.
  • Jim Caldwell is expected to join the Dolphins‘ staff in some capacity, though it won’t necessarily be as offensive coordinator, Albert Breer of The MMQB hears. The Dolphins could go with a younger coordinator and have Caldwell serve in a mentor-type role, but Caldwell could also don the headset after Miami missed out on guys like Greg Roman and Kliff Kingsbury.
  • Christopher Johnson says the report the Jets tried to tell Matt Rhule or Mike McCarthy who to hire is completely untrue (Twitter link via Connor Hughes of The Athletic). If he is to be believed, then new head coach Adam Gase will have a good degree of freedom to fill out his staff. If you choose to believe the reports, then Gase will probably have to work off of a limited list of options provided by GM Mike Maccagnan and the rest of the front office.

 

Jets Interview Jim Caldwell

The Jets interviewed Jim Caldwell for the club’s head coaching vacancy, according to a team announcement. Caldwell most recently served as the Lions’ head coach from 2014-17, but also had a multi-year stint with the Colts. 

Caldwell has been on the Jets’ radar for a while now, but they did not solidify a scheduled time to meet until recently. Caldwell, admittedly, would not be the sexiest choice, but he would offer experience and likely would not seek total control over the 53-man roster. Many of the other names in this year’s pool may want that power, but ownership says that GM Mike Maccagnan will continue to have full authority over personnel.

The Lions made the postseason twice during Caldwell’s tenure in Detroit. And, with the Colts, his teams went 26-22 with one AFC title and two divisional championships.

The Jets previously announced completed interviews with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, former Dolphins head coach Adam Gase, former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, and Cowboys defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator Kris Richard.

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Cardinals Interview Jim Caldwell

Former Lions and Colts head coach Jim Caldwell interviewed with the Cardinals on Thursday, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Caldwell now has interviewed with the Packers, Browns, and Cardinals and the Jets have expressed interest in him

[RELATED: 2019 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Caldwell, 63, has been fired twice and spent less than five years combined in Indianapolis and Detroit. On the plus side, he has a career record of 62-50 and was the first Lions coach to guide the team to multiple playoff berths in many years.

Caldwell was out of the NFL last year and the Lions sagged without him. After going 9-7 in 2016 and 2017, the Lions dropped to 6-10 in Matt Patricia‘s first year.

As shown in PFR’s 2019 Head Coaching Search Tracker, the Cardinals also have Dan Campbell, Adam Gase, Kliff Kingsbury, and Zac Taylor on the radar. Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy declined to interview with Arizona and former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is reportedly not interested in moving far away from his family in Wisconsin.

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Jim Caldwell Interviews For Browns’ HC Job

Jim Caldwell became the second candidate to interview for the Browns’ head coaching job, doing so on Wednesday. The Browns announced this meeting took place; it follows interim HC Gregg Williams‘ interview.

Caldwell has also interviewed for the Packers’ HC job and will meet with the Jets about their job opening.

The former Colts and Lions head coach did not work in the NFL in 2018, joining John Fox and Chuck Pagano — also fired after the ’17 season — in that regard. The Lions took a step back after Caldwell’s exit, falling from back-to-back 9-7 seasons to 6-10 in Matt Patricia‘s first year.

The Browns are slated to interview interim OC Freddie Kitchens, Mike McCarthy, Brian Flores, Kevin Stefanski and Dan Campbell. They are expected to meet with Mike Munchak, with Colts coordinators Nick Sirianni and Matt Eberflus receiving interview requests.

While Caldwell, 63, has been fired twice, and served less than five years in both Indianapolis and Detroit, he has a career record of 62-50 and was the first head coach to guide the Lions to multiple playoff berths since Bobby Ross in the late 1990s.

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AFC Coaching Rumors: Jets, Broncos, Jaguars, Dolphins, Browns

Two coaches fired after the 2017 season look to have secured additional interviews about possible 2019 top jobs. Jim Caldwell will interview with the Jets, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. Chuck Pagano is now expected to interview with the Broncos, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Caldwell has already met with the Packers and been connected to the Browns’ wide-ranging search as well.

Here’s the latest from the AFC’s side of the coaching carousel.

  • Another year, another issue with the Jets‘ OC. After John Morton‘s stay in New York featured conflict, apparently Jeremy Bates‘ did as well. A growing frustration sprouted about Bates’ play-calling, something Jets GM Mike Maccagnan became aware of, Vacchiano reports. Bates is now in limbo after Todd Bowles‘ firing, and one agent suggested the Jets would have had to fire their OC if they wanted to land impact free agents on offense. Jermaine Kearse was also not happy with Bates’ work, per Vacchiano. The Jets may have more than one major hire to make in the coming weeks. Bates spent 2017 as New York’s QBs coach before taking over for Morton.
  • The expansive Browns search thus far does not include Josh McDaniels, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com tweets. A Cleveland-area native, McDaniels was part of the Browns’ turbulent 2014 coaching search that ended with Mike Pettine. The Bengals have requested a meeting with McDaniels, but he has not yet accepted. McDaniels can interview this week because of the Patriots’ bye week.
  • The Broncos are monitoring Mike McCarthy, but no interview is as of yet scheduled, Klis tweets. McCarthy has been connected to just about every opening thus far. The 13-year Packers coach may sit this cycle out, unless he sees a perfect fit, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link).
  • Rex Ryan contacting possible assistant coaches about the Dolphins‘ vacancy appears to have been premature. He is not in the running to land the Miami job, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter). This would have been Ryan’s third AFC East job. The former Jets and Bills coach has not been mentioned on Black Monday as a candidate for any of the eight openings.
  • The latest Leonard Fournette incident appears to have cost a coach his job. The Jaguars fired running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley on Monday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Jacksonville is retaining Doug Marrone but is looking for a new offensive coordinator, so there will now be another position available. Wheatley just finished his second season as the Jags’ RBs coach.
  • In addition to Wheatley, the Jags are canning three other assistants — defensive backs coach Perry Fewell, offensive line coach Pat Flaherty and defensive line coach Marion Hobby, Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio reports (on Twitter). Both Fewell and Flaherty spent extensive time with Tom Coughlin on Giants coaching staffs. This was Hobby’s first NFL job.

Coaching Rumors: Gase, Broncos, Dolphins, Arians, Buccaneers, Jets, Cardinals

Adam Gase might’ve been the most surprising firing of Black Monday, and he likely won’t be out of a job too long. Gase has “heard from the majority of teams with an HC opening” within hours of being let go by the Dolphins, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link), who notes that Gase will begin taking head coaching interviews this week. While Gase has been linked to numerous jobs, including the Browns’ opening, don’t expect a reunion in Denver. Although he was the Broncos’ offensive coordinator during their peak with Peyton Manning, GM John Elway said at his press conference today Gase isn’t a candidate “at this time”, according to Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Gase got the Dolphins job because of his work with the Broncos, but there have long been rumors of bad blood between him and Elway. Elway reportedly told interested teams he didn’t think Gase was ready to be a head coach years ago, and Gase ran up the score on the Bronocs as revenge last year, kicking an onside kick while up 24 points late in the game. While it won’t be in Denver, at this point it would be a surprise if Gase isn’t a head coach somewhere next season.

Here’s more on the coaching carousel:

  • Speaking of Gase, the Dolphins will be undergoing a complete rebuild as they look for his replacement. They shook up their front office earlier today and are likely to move on from Ryan Tannehill this offseason. As for their next coach, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald “would be shocked” if Dan Campbell doesn’t get an interview (Twitter link). Campbell, the Saints’ assistant head coach, has already been requested by the Browns and is expected to be a hot candidate. He was the Dolphins’ interim coach in 2015 after they fired Joe Philbin four games into the season. Miami has also put in a request to interview Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores, according to Schefter (Twitter link), adding to a long list of teams looking to talk to Flores.
  • While former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has repeatedly said the only job he would come out of retirement for would be the Browns’, he might be having a change of heart. The legendary offensive coach told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link), that he knows Buccaneers GM Jason Licht, and “would listen” if the Bucs came calling. Tampa is almost certainly looking for an offensive coach to revitalize Jameis Winston‘s career, and Arians would be a very intriguing option.
  • The Jets have made their first two interview requests as they look to replace Todd Bowles. The team is looking to talk to Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link), and also wants an interview with Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken, according to Rapoport (Twitter link). Rapsheet also tweets the team requested an interview with Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell, but Campbell denied the request. Finally, Rapoport notes in a fourth tweet that the Jets are one of two new teams interested in former Lions coach Jim Caldwell, along with the Browns. All of these requests are in line with the thinking that the Jets are interested in bringing in an offensive coach to work with Sam Darnold.
  • The Jets aren’t the only team interested in Bieniemy, as Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports tweets that the Buccaneers and Dolphins have reached out as well. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network added in a tweet that the Cardinals have also requested an interview, bringing the number of teams interested in Bieniemy to four. Given the success that members of the Andy Reid coaching tree has had in recent years, it’s not surprising he’s a sought after name.
  • Speaking of the Cardinals, the team has requested Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor, Rapoport tweets. The Cardinals are in desperate need of an offensive coach who can help Josh Rosen after Rosen’s woeful rookie campaign, and Taylor is very highly thought of in some circles. Rapoport notes the team has “been doing work on him”, so this seems like more than just a courtesy interview.

Mike McCarthy Not Interested In Cardinals’ HC Job; Latest On GM Steve Keim

We learned earlier this week that former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is interested in the Cardinals’ head coaching job, which is expected to become available in short order. However, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that McCarthy does not want the gig after all, and that he is likely to sit out the 2019 campaign.

If that is the case, it is not for a lack of trying on the Cardinals’ part. La Canfora says that Arizona offered McCarthy control over personnel as well as the on-field product, but McCarthy is content to wait for the perfect opportunity, and it does not appear that the Cardinals’ job is particularly attractive at the moment. There is concern in coaching circles about quarterback Josh Rosen‘s long-term future, and the roster as a whole does not engender much optimism.

Of course, if McCarthy were to accept Arizona’s overtures, current GM Steve Keim would be fired. However, since the Cardinals are not likely to attract McCarthy or any other coach that would be a legitimate candidate to also run the personnel side of things, La Canfora says Keim is likely to return in 2019. Indeed, Keim has already been putting together a list of head coaching candidates in preparation for the upcoming hiring cycle.

One name on Keim’s list could be Jim Caldwell, whom the Packers have already interviewed for McCarthy’s former post. Albert Breer of SI.com reports that Caldwell is likely to be considered for the Cardinals’ job, and even if the team does the unexpected and retains current HC Steve Wilks, Arizona would be interested in Caldwell as a coordinator on Wilks’ staff, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

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Jets Notes: Enunwa, Tomlinson, Offseason

The Jets signed receiver Quincy Enunwa to a multi-year contract extension yesterday, with the four-year pact coming in at $36MM (and about $20MM in guaranteed money). The 2014 sixth-round pick out of Nebraska has spent his entire career with the Jets, and he’s excited to stick with the organization for the foreseeable future.

“I knew when I got here that I wanted to be a Jet for a very long time,” Enunwa told the team website. “Now, I’ll get my opportunity and it feels really good.”

The 26-year-old broke onto the scene in 2016, when he hauled in 58 receptions for 857 yards and four scores. He missed the entire 2017 season with a neck injury, and he’s appeared in only 11 games this year. However, he’s clearly gaining the trust of quarterback Sam Darnold, and Enunwa is confident that the duo will continue to improve.

“I’m excited for the future and for some more big plays,” Enunwa said. “And I think there is a lot in store for us as a team.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of New York…

  • The Enunwa extension was the “first big contract” that was negotiated by Dave Socie, points out Brian Costello of the New York Post (via Twitter). Socie was hired as the team’s Senior Director of Football Administration during the summer after previously serving in the role back in 2006. In this role, Socie works with general manager Mike Maccagnan on all things contracts and salary cap.
  • The Jets placed tight end Eric Tomlinson on injured reserve earlier this week, but it doesn’t sound like the 26-year-old suffered his injury on the field. Rather, Costello tweets that Tomlinson dropped a weight on his foot, leading to a pair of lacerated toes. The accident forced the tight end to undergo surgery, ending his season. Tomlinson had started 12 of his 15 games this season, serving mostly as a blocking tight end. The former Texas-El Paso standout has 16 career receptions for 193 yards and one touchdown.
  • Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.TV believes the Jets should be prioritizing experience as they search for a new head coach. The writer opines that the organization “can’t afford to be wrong with their next hire,” as they’ll be risking Darnold’s formative seasons. Fortunately, Vacchiano believes Maccagnan and CEO Christopher Johnson recognize this, as the team has already been connected to experienced coaches like Jim Harbaugh and Mike McCarthy. The writer also believes the team should give a look at former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell.
  • ESPN’s Rich Cimini writes that the Jets should use their draft picks and $100MM+ in cap space to build a formidable team around Darnold. Specifically, Cimini says the team should make a “serious run” at running back Le’Veon Bell, and he also lists offensive line, receiver, and edge rusher as positions of need. The writer also suggests shopping defensive end Leonard Williams, who is set to earn $14.2MM next season.

Jim Caldwell Has Interviewed For Packers HC

Just before Christmas, it was reported that former Lions and Colts head coach Jim Caldwell would be a head coaching candidate in 2019. Just a few days later, he has apparently already interviewed for the vacancy in Green Bay, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports (Twitter link). 

The vacancy, of course, is the helm left after the team fired longtime head coach Mike McCarthy earlier in the season. A longtime quarterbacks coach, Caldwell would seemingly be a solid addition to work with Aaron Rodgers. In his career, Caldwell has worked with franchise quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford.

However, Rodgers seemingly put his support behind interim head coach Joe Philbin after this past week’s win, according to Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal.

During his run as a head coach, Caldwell has amassed a 62-50 record and delivered three winning seasons in four campaigns with Detroit after the team logged just two such seasons in the previous 16 years before his arrival.

Before that, Caldwell was a longtime assistant with the Colts who became Indianapolis’ head coach in 2009 after Tony Dungy retired. He guided his club to an AFC championship in his first season at the helm and the Colts lost the Super Bowl that year. They returned to the playoffs in 2010, but finished 2011 with a 2-14 record after the season-long injury to Manning and Caldwell was fired at the end of the season.

Caldwell is a Wisconsin native who was born and raised in Beloit, just across the border from Illinois.

 

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