The Detroit Lions didn’t need too many interviews with candidates or more than two weeks to pick their next head coach, which happens to be Jim Caldwell, serving as the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens over the last couple of seasons.
The Lions were looking for an experienced coach who has been a head coach before and with an offensive orientation, specifically working with quarterbacks. The Lions do have Matthew Stafford putting up big numbers over the last few years, but many suspect that better guidance and coaching is needed.
Caldwell was actually the first to interview for the job. He was followed by Gary Kubiak, Mike Munchak and Ken Whisenhunt, who has already been hired to be the next head coach of the Tennessee Titans, and might have been a bit higher up their priority list. However, the Titans offered $1 million more than the Lions, which made it an easy choice for Whisenhunt.
Caldwell was the head coach at Wake Forest from 1993 to 2000, posting a 26-63 record, making only one bowl game during his time there. After being the quarterbacks coach at Indianapolis from 2002, he took over for Tony Dungy in 2009, leading the Colts to the Super Bowl (losing to the Saints). He was fired after the no-Manning season in 2011, finishing his HC record with the Colts at 26-22, making two postseason appearances.
He’s 2-2 in the postseason, which means he has more playoff wins during his short head coaching career than the Lions organization has over the last 55 years combined.
He became the quarterbacks coach for the Ravens when the 2012 season began but stepped up for the fired Cam Cameron midway through the season to take over the Offensive Coordinator role. WIth some influence from him, the Ravens went all the way to the Super Bowl, winning against the San Francisco 49ers.
Under Caldwell this season, the Ravens were 29th in total offense (307.4 yards a game) and 25th in scoring (20 points a game). Joe Flacco threw more interceptions than touchdowns in 2013, but that probably had to do with more than just his offensive coordinator.