The Detroit Lions hired Jim Caldwell as head coach on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Detroit Lions are hiring Jim Caldwell as their head coach, per a league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 14, 2014
Caldwell succeeds Jim Schwartz, who was fired after the Lions finished with disappointing 7-9 record this season.
1. He Spent the Last Two Years With the Baltimore Ravens
Caldwell spent the last two seasons on John Harbaugh’s staff with the Baltimore Ravens. He was hired as the quarterbacks coach in January 2010. Less than a year later, he was promoted to offensive coordinator after the team dismissed Cam Cameron. The Ravens went on to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVI in Feburary 2013.
2. He Was Fired in 2011 After Three Seasons as the Colts Head Coach
Before joining the Ravens staff, Caldwell spent three seasons as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2009-2011. He enjoyed immediate success, leading the team to a 14-2 record in his debut season. The team began the season 14-0, but rested its players in the final two games and ultimately finished 14-2. The Colts advanced to Super Bowl XLIV, but fell 31-17 to the New Orleans Saints.
Caldwell led the Colts back to the playoffs in 2010, but they would fall short again in a 17-16 loss to the New York Jets in the wild-card round.
Indianapolis lost star quarterback Peyton Manning for the entire 2011 season, which proved to be a fatal blow for Caldwell’s future with the team. The Colts finished with a 2-14 record, resulting in Caldwell being fired despite making the postseason the previous two years.
3. He Won Two Super Bowls as a Coach
Although Caldwell has never won a Super Bowl as a head coach, he has been a part of two Super Bowl-winning coaching staffs. He was the Colts quarterback coach during the team’s Super Bowl XLI victory over the Chicago Bears on February 4, 2007.
Most recently, Caldwell was the offensive coordinator for the Ravens during the team’s victory over the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013.
4. Caldwell is an Offensive Guru
The Lions were looking for someone with head-coaching experience and a great mind for offense — and they found exactly what they were looking for in Caldwell. The 58-year-old has spent his entire coaching career on offense, dating back to 1978 when he bacme the wide receivers coach for Southern Illinois University.
5. The Lions Job Was Arguably the Best Vacant NFL Head Coaching Position
Caldwell landed in a great situation with the Lions. The team already has a franchise quarterback in place with Matthew Stafford, as well as key skill players in wide receiver Calvin Johnson, running back Reggie Bush and defensive tackles Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh.
The Lions were notorious for being undisciplined during the Jim Schwartz era. From a bevy of untimely penalties to late-game collapses, the narrative in Detroit quickly turned to Schwartz and his inability to control the team.
Caldwell’s biggest challenge will be instilling discipline into the Lions locker room and eliminating the mental mistakes that cost the team so dearly in recent seasons.
But there’s no denying the talent on that roster — Caldwell just has to make the most of it.