Thirteen years ago, Bill Polian hired Jim Caldwell to replace Tony Dungy after the Hall of Famer retired as Colts coach. It resulted in a Super Bowl appearance in Caldwell’s first season on the job.
With Polian now advising the Bears (and, from what we hear, fully directing the search for a general manager and head coach), Caldwell will have a chance to return to the NFC North.
PFT has confirmed that Caldwell will interview for the opening in Chicago. (On Friday night, ESPN reported that Caldwell “is waiting” to be interviewed and that you are a “presumptive candidate” for the position. He will be interviewed and is definitely a candidate, we are told.)
Caldwell ultimately spent three years with the Colts. A disastrous 2011 season without Peyton Manning resulted in owner Jim Irsay firing both Polian and Caldwell. The following year, Caldwell won a Super Bowl with the Ravens after being promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator in December.
In 2014, the Lions signed Caldwell. It lasted four seasons, three of which ended with winning records; former general manager Bob Quinn finally moved on from Caldwell after back-to-back 9-7 seasons, so Quinn could sign Matt Patricia.
Caldwell has experience working with multiple high-level quarterbacks, from Manning to Joe Flacco to Matthew Stafford. As the Bears try to get the most out of Justin Fields, they could do a lot worse than a coach who has a 62-50 career regular-season record and hit .500 when it comes to leading the Lions to the playoffs. , reaching the postseason twice.
The Jaguars have also interviewed Caldwell. It will be interesting to see if any of the other six teams with head coaching vacancies follow suit.