Jim Caldwell

2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, seven NFL teams opted to make a head coaching change. With the Texans firing David Culley on Thursday afternoon, there are now eight full-time vacancies available this year.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 1-16-21 (10:30pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Bears Expected To Interview Jim Caldwell For HC Job

After sitting out the last two years, Jim Caldwell has now gotten his second head coaching interview of 2022. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter), Caldwell is expected to interview for the Bears head coaching gig. Caldwell previously interviewed for the Jaguars HC job.

Caldwell, 66, served as the Dolphins’ quarterbacks coach in 2019 before health issues forced him to step aside. Fortunately, he’s said to be back to full health now, and it sounds like he’s ready for his next job.

Between his time with the Colts and Lions, Caldwell owns a career 62-50 record as a head coach with four playoff berths and one Super Bowl appearance. Caldwell’s last stop in Detroit saw him never finish with fewer than seven wins, but he was still canned following back-to-back 9-7 seasons.

Caldwell is now the 10th head coaching candidate for the position previously held by Matt Nagy. The group of candidates includes:

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Jaguars, Jim Caldwell To Meet On Tuesday

The Jaguars are meeting with Jim Caldwell today to discuss their head coaching vacancy, according to Eugene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter link). Caldwell is the second candidate to interview with Jacksonville, following last week’s chat with ex-Eagles HC Doug Pederson.

[RELATED: Updated 2022 NFL Draft Order]

There will be plenty more interviews to come as the Jaguars have already requested sit-downs with at least eight candidates:

Caldwell, 66, served as the Dolphins’ quarterbacks coach in 2019 before health issues forced him to step aside. Fortunately, he’s said to be back to full health now. Between his time with the Colts and Lions, Caldwell owns a career 62-50 record as a head coach with four playoff berths and one Super Bowl appearance.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Request Interviews With Colts DC Matt Eberflus, Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett

We can another three names to the Jaguars’ list of head coaching candidates. Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Jaguars requested interviews with Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus (Twitter link) and Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett (Twitter link). Meanwhile, ESPN’s Michael DiRocco reports that former NFL head coach Jim Caldwell will also interview for the gig.

[RELATED: Jaguars Request Interviews With Todd Bowles, Byron Leftwich]

Eberflus served as a linebackers coach for almost a decade with the Browns and Cowboys, but he finally got a shot at a DC gig in 2018. In Indu, the 51-year-old has been credited with establishing a culture built on hustle and discipline, and his defenses have mostly been up to the challenge. Eberflus’s defenses have consistently been ranked in the top-half of the NFL for their ability to stop the run, and the team has ranked top-10 in takeaways during each of his four seasons at the helm (culminating in them currently ranking second in the NFL).

Hackett actually served as the Jaguars offensive coordinator between 2016 and 2018, including a 2017 campaign where the Jaguars offense ranked toward the top of the NFL in a number of categories. The veteran coach was canned midway through the 2018 season, and he’s spent the past three years serving as Green Bay’s OC. The Packers offense had a standout season in 2020, and while the team has the best record in the league, both the passing game and the running game have taken a step back in 2021.

Caldwell (feat. Peyton Manning) coached the Colts to a Super Bowl in his first season as Indianapolis’ HC but was out of a job after his third. Caldwell elevated the Lions to a playoff berth in his first year with Detroit in 2014 but was fired after a 9-7 2017 season. The 66-year-old coach experienced a health issue that caused him to step away from his post as Dolphins QBs coach in 2019, but he is back to full health and his since taken an interview for other HC vacancies.

This trio joins a growing list of candidates that already includes Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Cowboys OC Kellen Moore and DC Dan Quinn, and ex-Eagles HC Doug Pederson.

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Interview Candidates For Jaguars

Jacksonville’s head coach position is open for grabs and the prospect of molding a young quarterback with star potential should be alluring for a number of candidates looking to lead the Jaguars. According to a tweet from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, two of the candidates they wish to interview for the position are former NFL head coaches Doug Pederson and Jim Caldwell.

Pederson has been an offensive mind in the NFL since 2009 spending 6 years as an assistant coach under Andy Reid. He started as an offensive quality control coach for the Eagles until taking over the quarterbacks room when James Urban was promoted to Philadelphia’s assistant offensive coordinator. Pederson followed Reid to Kansas City as the offensive coordinator in 2013 with Reid retaining the role of play-caller for the offense. After a 1-5 start to the 2015 season, Reid gave Pederson play-calling responsibility and the Chiefs finished the season on a 10-game win streak.

This made Pederson a top candidate for NFL head coaching jobs that offseason and he was hired to replace Chip Kelly back where his NFL career first started in Philadelphia. The first-year head coach was matched up with the second-overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, quarterback Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State. The team’s record didn’t improve in 2016 despite a three-game win streak to start the Pederson-Wentz marriage. The second year of Pederson’s tenure, though, went slightly better with the Eagles winning Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots. Pederson had Wentz playing at an MVP level through 14 weeks when Wentz suffered a torn ACL, ending the best season of his then-young NFL career early. Backup quarterback Nick Foles helped the team to clinch home-field advantage in the playoffs and led the team to wins over the Falcons and Vikings en route to their Super Bowl appearance and victory. The next year saw Wentz struggle to stay healthy and Foles continue to fill in as the Eagles went 9-7 and won a playoff game as a wild card team. A healthy Wentz helped Pederson lead the team to a division-winning 9-7 the next year, but they lost their first and only playoff game with Wentz at the helm. Pederson’s last season in Philadelphia saw the Eagles go 4-11-1 after some injuries and poor play from Wentz. Pederson was laid off immediately after the regular season with a 42-37-1 regular season record and a 4-2 playoff record despite delivering the franchise’s first Super Bowl win and first NFL Championship since before the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

Jim Caldwell entered the NFL in 2001 as the quarterbacks coach for the Buccaneers under then-head coach Tony Dungy. Caldwell followed Dungy to Indianapolis and was announced as Dungy’s successor-in-waiting following the 2007 season. Exactly a year later, Caldwell was introduced as the Colts’ head coach following Dungy’s retirement. Caldwell took over a Peyton Manning-led Colts team and rolled to a 14-0 record, tying former 49ers’ coach George Seifert for most consecutive wins to start a coaching career. He controversially sat his starting players in two losses to end the season, with home-field advantage in the playoffs already secured. Caldwell’s Colts won his first two playoff games over the Ravens and Jets before losing to the Saints in Super Bowl XLIV. The two playoff wins would end up being the only playoff wins of Caldwell’s head coaching career to date, but he was only the fifth head coach to reach the Super Bowl in their rookie season and is the latest rookie head coach to have done so. Caldwell’s next season saw the Colts finish 10-6, winning the AFC South, but losing their Wild Card game to the Jets. The Wild Card loss would be Manning’s last game in a Colts uniform as neck surgeries would hold him out of the entire 2011-12 NFL season. Caldwell’s Manning-less Colts would go 2-14 with quarterbacks Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky, and Kerry Collins all starting games. Caldwell was fired immediately following the season.

Caldwell was picked up by the Ravens as a quarterbacks coach but, when the Ravens fired Cam Cameron midseason, Caldwell was named the offensive coordinator for the playoff-bound Ravens and helped lead Joe Flacco to a flawless postseason in which Flacco tied Joe Montana for most touchdowns without an interception in a single postseason. Caldwell saw his quarterback win Super Bowl XLVII MVP after beating the 49ers with a “lights out” performance.

Following a successful tenure in Baltimore, Caldwell was hired to his second head coaching gig in 2014, this time for the Lions. Caldwell led Detroit to an 11-5 record in his first season and a wild card playoff berth, losing to the Cowboys. The Lions would finish with a 9-7 record twice in the next three seasons losing one more playoff game in 2016. Despite finishing 2017 with a winning record, and having a career record with the Lions of 36-28, Caldwell was let go and succeeded by Matt Patricia. Caldwell was hired by the Dolphins to join Brian Flores’s staff as assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach, but he took a leave of absence for health reasons and wasn’t retained by Miami following the 2019 season.

Either head coach would be an intriguing addition due to their success in building offensive systems. Caldwell has shown an aptitude for winning football games, but has often been criticized for being unable to take that next step in the postseason, highlighted by his 2-4 career record in the playoffs. Pederson showed his ability to help young quarterbacks get up to speed in the NFL with Wentz and then-rookie Jalen Hurts, but he drew criticism for controversially pulling Hurts out in the final game of the season in what some accused was an attempt to better the Eagles’ draft position. The Jaguars are sure to do their due diligence in their coaching search, but they clearly have some ideas in mind for what they want out of their new head coach.

This Date In Transactions History: Lions Hire Matt Patricia

In 2017, Jim Caldwell led the Lions to their third winning campaign in four seasons. It wasn’t enough to save his job. The Lions fired Caldwell and replaced him with Patriots defensive guru Matt Patricia, three years ago today. 

Patricia had lots of hype heading into this cycle. He also had a longstanding relationship with Detroit GM Bob Quinn, who previously worked in New England. After working his way up through the Pats’ ranks, Patricia served as their DC for six seasons. During that period, the Patriots’ defense never ranked lower than tenth in points allowed. And, of course, his final day with the team nearly ended in yet another Super Bowl ring, before Nick Foles got in the way.

It seems like just yesterday that Patricia was regarded as the perfect fit. It’s a reminder of how quickly things can change in the NFL. After a combined 13-29 record and an ugly Thanksgiving Day loss, the Lions sent the 46-year-old packing. Now, he’s going back to New England to serve in multiple assistant coaching roles on Bill Belichick‘s staff. Meanwhile, the Lions are moving forward with Dan Campbell, who will have Jared Goff leading his offense.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Interview Jim Caldwell, Josh McCown For HC Job

The NFL’s last remaining head coaching search took another interesting turn Friday. While the Texans have contacted former Colts and Lions HC Jim Caldwell about their vacancy, they also announced they spoke with Josh McCown about the opening Friday as well.

This marks Caldwell’s second interview for the job. The former Lions and Colts HC spoke with the Texans in December, but the team’s search took on a different tone after Nick Caserio‘s GM hire.

McCown began this season with Eagles, residing as the NFL’s oldest practice squad player and operating as a remote emergency quarterback, but signed with the Texans in November. The 41-year-old QB would be one of the most unorthodox choices in modern NFL history, but the Texans are exploring the prospect of hiring McCown and pairing him with at least one former head coach, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

The 19-year veteran has been viewed as a future coach and is interesting under contract with the Texans through 2021. The team viewed the well-regarded backup as a culture-type signing and a player who could help as a coach immediately after retirement. This would certainly spark debate, however. While players jumping straight into HC roles has happened in the NBA — like Jason Kidd or Derek Fisher — McCown would be a controversial hire considering the NFL’s current imbalance between white and minority head coaches.

McCown’s previous plan was to spend time watching his sons play football after retirement. A leap into a head coaching position would certainly change his schedule. And making such a move before gaining any experience as an assistant would represent a risk for McCown. That said, the 49ers hired John Lynch as GM without experience and paired him with Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers won the NFC in that regime’s third year. Of course, this backfired with Matt Millen in Detroit.

A McCown hire would run beyond the “outside the box” label, but this is now something to monitor for a Texans team that began the week interviewing popular HC candidate Eric Bieniemy. The Texans remain interested in Colts DC Matt Eberflus, whom the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin notes (via Twitter) is a frontrunner for the job. Houston has interviewed eight candidates for the position. Eberflus initially declined an interview request but met with Nick Caserio and Co. on Sunday.

Caldwell (feat. Peyton Manning) coached the Colts to a Super Bowl in his first season as Indianapolis’ HC but was out of a job after his third. Caldwell elevated the Lions to a playoff berth in his first year with Detroit in 2014 but was fired after a 9-7 2017 season. The 66-year-old coach experienced a health issue that caused him to step away from his post as Dolphins QBs coach in 2019, but he is back to full health and would certainly represent an experienced right-hand man for McCown or another younger coach.

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Texans Interview Jim Caldwell For HC Opening

The Texans are ramping up their search for Bill O’Brien’s replacement. Houston completed an interview with former Lions and Colts head coach Jim Caldwell for their vacancy, the team announced Monday.

Caldwell was the coach in Detroit for four seasons from 204-17. After spending 2018 out of football he agreed to become an assistant head coach with the Dolphins, but then took a leave of absence for medical reasons. We heard in December of last year that he was back to full health and looking to coach again, but he didn’t sign anywhere this offseason. Caldwell succeeded Tony Dungy as Colts coach, and held that position for three seasons from 2009-11, but was fired after a 2011 season where Indy went just 2-14 with Peyton Manning missing the entire year with neck issues.

Caldwell has a 62-50 record as head coach, although as Mike Garafolo of NFL Network pointed out in a tweet it’s 60-36 if you take out the year where the Colts essentially tanked for Andrew Luck. In his first season in Detroit Caldwell went 11-5 and made the playoffs. He went 9-7 each of his last two years with the Lions, making the playoffs again in 2016.

Detroit brass decided that wasn’t good enough and that Caldwell wasn’t the one to get them over the hump, and obviously we’ve all seen what’s happened there since he left. A highly regarded offensive coach with plenty of big time experience, it always seemed like only a matter of time before Caldwell got another shot. He spent a couple of decades in the college ranks before jumping to the pros as an assistant under Dungy with the Buccaneers in 2001.

The Texans are in an interesting spot, as obviously O’Brien was their coach as well as GM. The team recently interviewed ESPN analyst Louis Riddick for the GM opening. We’ve heard that Texans owner Cal McNair wants Deshaun Watson to have input on who the next head coach is, so what the young quarterback thinks of Caldwell could determine whether or not he has a real shot at the gig.

Interim GM Jack Easterby is proving to be a divisive figure, but recent reports indicate he’ll have a large role in determining the next head coach and GM as well. To say this is a pivotal offseason for the franchise would be a massive understatement, and it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

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Coaching Rumors: Giants, Caldwell, Browns

Joe Judge‘s first Giants staff will feature Jason Garrett overseeing the offense and Jerry Schuplinski as quarterbacks coach. The Giants are hiring the former Patriots and Dolphins assistant quarterbacks coach, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post notes. Brian Flores could have blocked the move but opted not to. This will be Schuplinski’s first stint as a franchise’s top quarterbacks coach. He and Garrett have not worked together, but Judge and Schuplinski coached together in New England from 2013-18. The latter’s NFL career began in 2013, after he spent 13 years coaching at alma mater John Carroll, a Cleveland-area high school (Trinity) and Cleveland-based Division III college Case Western Reserve. Schuplinski helped Ryan Fitzpatrick to some surprising performances this season, given the offensive line and backfield situation with which the veteran quarterback was saddled, and will now play a key role in developing Daniel Jones.

Here is the latest from the coaching world:

  • With Bill Callahan set to become the Browns’ offensive line coach, the Giants’ search to fill this position continues. The team will bring in longtime Garrett assistant Marc Colombo for an interview, Jordan Raanan and Todd Archer of ESPN.com report (on Twitter). Colombo will interview on Tuesday, per Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News. Given that Colombo worked under Garrett from 2016-19 as Cowboys assistant O-line coach and then O-line coach, it would seem the ex-Cowboys lineman has a good chance of landing this job. The Giants had Callahan on their radar and also interviewed former Judge Pats coworker Dave DeGuglielmo for the position.
  • After taking a leave of absence from Flores’ staff before the season began, Dolphins assistant Jim Caldwell did not coach during the team’s season. And the former Colts and Lions HC will not return to the Dolphins’ staff, Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com notes. Caldwell, who stepped away for medical reasons, is back to full health and wants to coach again. He was recently mentioned in connection to the Eagles’ OC job.
  • A Joe WoodsBrowns partnership looks to be on hold for the time being. While the former Broncos DC and current 49ers secondary coach is expected to become the next Browns DC, no agreement is expected until Super Bowl LIV’s conclusion, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. Woods and incumbent Steve Wilks were vying for the job, and Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer confirms a Woods-over-Wilks has been made.
  • The Browns will retain run-game coordinator Stump Mitchell, Cabot adds. Serving as running backs coach under Freddie Kitchens, Mitchell helped Nick Chubb to 1,494 rushing yards. Chubb’s seven 100-yard games were the most any Browns back has compiled in 51 years, matching Hall of Famer Leroy Kelly‘s 1968 total.
  • Kevin Stefanski is also considering retaining DBs coach DeWayne Walker, per Cabot. Walker is a holdover from the Hue Jackson staffs, initially joining the Browns in 2017 after four years as the Jaguars’ secondary coach.

Eagles To Consider Jim Caldwell, Kevin O’Connell For OC Job?

Searching for a new offensive coordinator for the second time in three years, the Eagles are likely to look outside the organization to replace Mike Groh. Candidates with disparate backgrounds are emerging.

Former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell and 2019 Redskins OC Kevin O’Connell have surfaced as candidates, Tim McManus of ESPN.com tweets.

Doug Pederson canned Groh despite the Eagles’ late-season showing with a skeleton-crew offense, and with the team not preparing to promote quarterbacks coach Press Taylor, it opens the door to the prospect of an outside hire taking over. The Eagles do, however, have Duce Staley in place as assistant head coach and running backs instructor. He could conceivably be a candidate, though the team opted to promote Groh over him for the post Frank Reich vacated two years ago.

After the Lions fired Caldwell following a four-year tenure, he resurfaced in Miami on Brian Flores‘ staff. But a medical issue forced the 64-year-old coach to take a leave of absence shortly after accepting that role. Caldwell, however, received clearance to resume coaching recently. He has seven seasons’ worth of experience as HC — one of those producing an AFC championship season in Indianapolis — and was promoted to Ravens OC late in their 2012 Super Bowl season.

The Redskins opted to reunite Ron Rivera with Scott Turner, the latter replacing O’Connell as their offensive coordinator. Like Groh, O’Connell dealt with an ever-changing offensive core. But Washington ranked 30th in offensive DVOA last season. Still, O’Connell has been connected to the Browns and Rams, with the Cleveland connection potentially hinging on whether the franchise hires Josh McDaniels.

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