The Detroit Lions have officially begun their head coach search by asking for permission to interview Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell.
Lions are scheduling an interview for their HC job with Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, per league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 1, 2014
Jim Caldwell has served as the Baltimore Ravens Offensive Coordinator for the last two seasons. But it is in Indianapolis where he really honed his craft. Caldwell coached Peyton Manning under Tony Dungy for nearly a decade. He reached the Superbowl as an assistant and again as a head coach with the Colts.
This is the first sign that the Lions are focused on hiring a head coach with skill at coaching quarterbacks. Beside Peyton Manning, Jim Caldwell is also credited with helping Joe Flacco progress to the level of Superbowl MVP.
Being a member of the Dungy coaching tree, Caldwell will be a highly sought after candidate for a number of NFL teams looking for a head coach. Other teams interested in Caldwell include the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns.
Caldwell is included on a list of candidates recommended by the Fritz Pollard Alliance; an organization responsible for holding NFL teams accountable for interviewing minority coaches also known as the Rooney Rule.
Lions fans should remember the Fritz Pollard Alliance. Matt Millen ran into some trouble during his tenure for violating the NFL’s Ronney Rule. He was fined $200,000 by then commissioner Paul Taglibue for not interviewing any minority candidates prior to hiring Steve Mariucci.
According to a report in the Baltimore Sun, other candidates on the Fritz Pollard Alliance list are Cincinnati running backs coach Hue Jackson, Cleveland defensive coordinator Ray Horton, former Bears head coach Lovie Smith and Green Bay Packers Assistant Head Coach Winston Moss.