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 field.
With Polian now consulting for the Bears (and, as we hear it, fully carrying out the search for a GM and a head coach), Caldwell will get a chance to return to the NFC North.
PFT has confirmed that Caldwell will indeed be interviewing for the vacancy in Chicago. (On Friday evening, ESPN reported that Caldwell “expected“to be interviewed and that he is a” presumed candidate “for the job. He will be interviewed and is definitely a candidate, we are told.)
Caldwell eventually spent three years with the Colts. A disastrous 2011 season without Peyton Manning resulted in owner Jim Irsay dismissing both Polian and Caldwell. The following year, Caldwell won a Super Bowl with the Ravens after being promoted from quarterback coach to offensive coordinator in December.
In 2014, the Lions hired Caldwell. He lasted four seasons, three of which ended with winning records; former GM Bob Quinn eventually moved on from Caldwell to consecutive 9-7 seasons so Quinn could hire Matt Patricia.
Caldwell has experience working with multiple high-end quarterbacks, from Manning to Joe Flacco to Matthew Stafford. When the Bears try to get the most out of Justin Fields, they could do a lot worse than a coach who has a career record in regular season 62-50 and who hit .500 when it comes to taking the lowest Lions to the playoffs, making it twice after the postseason.
The Jaguars also interviewed Caldwell. It will be interesting to see if any of the other six teams with vacancies for head coaches do the same.