Updates from Tuesday, Jan. 21
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com has more on Jim Caldwell's contract with the Lions:
Jim Caldwell is getting another chance as a head coach in the NFL.
ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the 58-year-old, who was fired by the Indianapolis Colts after the 2011 season and has been working on John Harbaugh's staff in Baltimore ever since, has agreed to terms to take over the reins of the Detroit Lions:
Lions senior writer Tim Twentyman confirmed the news:
MLive's Kyle Meinke has Caldwell's contract details:
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News reports that Caldwell has decided on a defensive coordinator:
Twentyman provides William Clay Ford's statement on the hiring:
ESPN's Ed Werder shared Tony Dungy's thoughts on the hire:
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller also believes it is a good hire for Detroit:
Caldwell's agent also spoke about how the former Colts coach was attracted to the position (via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com):
Replacing Dungy in 2009, Caldwell's start with the Colts went about as well as could have been imagined. He led Indy to a 14-2 record and a spot in the Super Bowl before eventually falling to the New Orleans Saints.
However, after another postseason appearance the following season, things began to crumble in 2011. Peyton Manning missed the entire season, and the Colts went 2-14.
Although that was one of the best seasons to lose 14 games—Indy landed Andrew Luck in the draft for its troubles—Caldwell was still handed a pink slip.
Despite that miserable ending, Jim Tressel, a consultant under Caldwell during that season, remarked at how well the head coach was able to keep the locker room together, via the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett:
The (last) three games are all division games, Houston, Tennessee and Jacksonville, and both Houston and Tennessee needed to win for playoffs and home fields and stuff like that, and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I wonder how he’s going to keep this thing together.’
But to keep that group together and not fold their tent, and I think the only reason was because of how much respect they had for (Caldwell). I really believe that and again I was just a guy sitting in the corner, but I mean I’ve never seen anything like that because usually when your hope is gone it’s really hard to keep things together.
After being let go, Caldwell moved on to Baltimore, where he became the quarterbacks coach and eventually took over for Cam Cameron as the offensive coordinator.
Torrey Smith, who played under Caldwell at Baltimore Tweeted his support:
As for Caldwell's potential staff in Detroit, Albert Breer of NFL.com and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports have insight:
In 2012, Caldwell helped the Ravens to a Super Bowl and had quarterback Joe Flacco playing the best football of his career. Despite a down year for the entire team in 2013, Caldwell still attracted interest from multiple teams around the league.
He may not be the most exciting choice for head coach, but his previous success and demand for discipline should benefit the Lions.
Throw in Super Bowl credentials and head coaching experience, and it's easy to see why Detroit, a team with loads of talent that is in need of direction and leadership, made the move.