Packers interview Jim Caldwell

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The Packers could be replacing their Super Bowl winning coach with a coach who has taken a team to a Super Bowl.

According to multiple league sources, former Lions and Colts coach Jim Caldwell has interviewed for the Green Bay opening.

Caldwell coached the Colts from 2009 through 2011, and he then served as head coach of the Lions from 2014 through 2017. In between, he helped the Ravens get to the Super Bowl and win it, after being named offensive coordinator by coach John Harbaugh in December 2012.

Caldwell compiled a 62-50 record as a head coach during the regular season, with a 2-4 postseason record. At the college level, Caldwell coached Wake Forest from 1993 through 2000. He arrived in Indianapolis in 2002 with Tony Dungy, eventually serving as quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach through 2008.

After two seasons in Baltimore, Caldwell took the perpetually mediocre Lions to the playoffs twice in four seasons. He was fired after a 2017 season that ended with a 9-7 record.

The interview comes at a time when the Packers are wrapping up the season with Joe Philbin serving as interim head coach, following the firing of Mike McCarthy in his 13th year on the job. On Sunday, quarterback Aaron Rodgers seemed to express a preference for Philbin to get the full-time job.

But maybe Caldwell would be a perfect coach to work with Rodgers. During Caldwell’s coaching career, he had extensive experience working with Peyton Manning, and then with Matthew Stafford. Under Caldwell’s tutelage in Baltimore, Joe Flacco became the Super Bowl MVP.

By formally considering Caldwell for the job, the Packers have complied with the Rooney Rule, which requires an in-person interview of at least one minority candidate.

52 responses to “Packers interview Jim Caldwell

  1. Might not be a bad hire. Caldwell doesn’t seem like someone who would clash with Rodgers, and is a professional around the organization with the other players. Nothing against Stafford, but Caldwell was close to going over the top with the Lions a few times, and Rodgers could be the final push that gets him to the Superbowl, ala Peyton Manning in 2009. His personality and history could be what Green Bay needs after McCarthy, but it would surprising to me to see them hire someone outside the organization unless that person is a first time head coach.

  2. By formally considering Caldwell for the job, the Packers have complied with the Rooney Rule, which requires an in-person interview of at least one minority candidate.

    Chances are that’s all it was. Why would you hire a guy who has an NFL coaching record of 62-50? Both his times got worse during his tenure. I’ll give him somewhat of a pass in Indy because he had a big impediment to winning–GM Ryan Grigson. Still, he has made a bunch of questionable calls. I have a feeling they already have their coach and it will be Jim Harbaugh. Just wait until after the bowl game.

  3. Jim Caldwell isn’t a token-minority interview. Guy did a good job in Detroit reeling in an extremely undisciplined unit, and the Lions didn’t exactly turn the corner this year. A team could definitely do worse than bringing in Caldwell to be their head coach. It’s not like the Packers are interviewing Vance Joseph (who somehow still has a job).

  4. Last paragraph of the article is all this is about.

    Don’t see Joe P getting the job either. Front office knows it needs to clean house to placate the board at the least.

  5. Paul Byvtary says:
    December 26, 2018 at 7:13 pm
    This is just one example as to why the affirmative action rule is ridiculous.
    Why? Jim Caldwell belongs in the conversation and Florio did a good job of making the case for him.

  6. That’s smart, get the brother out-of-the-way quick- make sure you meet that Rooney rule

  7. Full disclosure I am white , 55 yes old and from CT. I have watched more great football than most of the posters on here and I can say unequivocally Jim Caldwell is Not a good choice for Any team.

  8. Sorry to say this but I don’t think the Greenbay fan base will support him. And, yes he would be good there. Caldwell turned Joe Flacco into a Super Bowl winning QB. He’s better than his Detroit work…which was still better than what Detroit has now.

  9. most of the Packers team, fans, media are OK with Pettine running the D which could limit whom the Packers hire as head coach. Always thought Caldwell was a bit of a bozo on occasion, but then McCarthy was frequently one too.

  10. If it is intentionally a Rooney rule interview at least they 1 picked a qualified candidate and 2 at least Caldwell has a chance to ace the interview and get the job. That’s a Rooney rule success… minority candidates an invitation to compete….a chance to expose their abilities to team ownership executives.

  11. Jim would be a solid, but perhaps unimaginative, choice. Could do better — but a lot of teams have done a helluva lot worse. Plus, it not fair to label Jim as a “Rooney interview.” Jim has a winning record, playoff appearances, playoff victories. Give Jim some respect — even if you believe more compelling candidates are available.

  12. The team doesn’t have to interview a minority candidate if they hire the interim HC, correct? Same applies in Cleveland (can hire Williams without interviewing anyone else). So might lead one to believe Philbin’s not it.

  13. Jim Caldwell went 11-5 with the Lions. The LIONS. He has experience working with Peyton Manning (ok I could work with Peyton Manning) but Flacco and Stafford has unequivocally their best years under Jim Caldwell. Players love him. He is a class act. He shaves, he’s on time for meetings…. ok I’m breaking down here. Just come back to Detroit jimbo!!!

  14. philcodean says:
    December 26, 2018 at 7:25 pm
    Paul Byvtary says:
    December 26, 2018 at 7:13 pm
    This is just one example as to why the affirmative action rule is ridiculous.
    Why? Jim Caldwell belongs in the conversation and Florio did a good job of making the case for him.


    Do you believe for a single second he has a chance to be hired? If you do the meaning is clear.

  15. Was Aaron Rodgers present to conduct his interview?
    This is already tired. At least you didn’t call him Erin though, so we are moving in the right direction.

  16. This guy is a good coach. He can get it done, however, like
    all the good to great coaches, it’s imperative to have one
    of THE TOP QB’S. In the old days ..the QB managed the game,
    threw some passes on third down, gave the star running back
    the ball and hopefully did not turn the ball over.
    Now, it’s all about the QB. He is the offense.
    Look at Parcells, Cowher, Belichick. They are fine
    coaches but they needed the QB to win championships.
    Of course that’s not all, but it sure is a big factor and
    It’s a lot easier when Drew Brees throws a 22 yard strike
    on third down after the left tackle got a holding call the previous

  17. Caldwell did a better job than just about anyone who has coached in Detroit since Bobby Layne got his curse on. It’s a true statement and damning with faint praise. The Lions aren’t better this year with Matt Patricia; that much is certain. Caldwell is also a Wisconsin native. I wouldn’t rule him out completely.

  18. Paul: Do you believe for a single second he has a chance to be hired? If you do the meaning is clear.
    Sure. Stranger hires have been made in the league. Caldwell doesn't have a SB win on his resume as a HC, but could out coach a good number of coaches currently heading up teams. I'm sure he left his interview and the boys at 1265 didn't pitch his name in the discard pile. Not sure what you mean by your last sentence.

  19. Its amazing that some of you still believe that if an African American gets consideration for a prominent position, it had to be because of the Rooney Rule. Not realizing that people like you are the reason the rule exists in the first place. The Rooney Rule doesn’t mandate that you hire a minority, it says you must interview a qualified minority. Thats it. I believe Caldwell went 11-5 in his final year as head coach, is a class act and has worked with many QBs. A requirement in todays NFL. If he can’t get consideration for a HC job in the eyes of some of you, no one ever will. But make no mistake about it….you are definitely a part of the problem.

    Does anyone ever cry foul when nepotism takes place?? When Bob Quin claimed to casta wide search for his head coach, everyone knew it was Matty P, he had worked with him for over 10 years in New England. The reality is, the best guy RARELY gets the job. There are several layers of politics behind closed doors for prominent NFL positions. Quinn knew the entire time he would hire Matty P. Now he’s under .500 with a team that Jim Caldwell won 11 games with and Stafford has digressed.

  20. I would cut him some slack on his last year with the Colts when Peyton was out from his neck injury and I honestly think Jim Irsay wanted the team to tank for Andrew Luck! I would delete that year from his record.

  21. If you can take the Lions to the playoffs 50% of the time you must be one of the best 32 head coaches. Caldwell can clearly get a team to the superbowl based on Indy and Baltimore work. People forget the Colts were nearly undefeated under peyton manning. His record is majorly slanted by the tank for Luck year

  22. Jim Caldwell posted a winning record in 3 of the 4 years he coached the Lions. A WINNING record. The LIONS.

    Let that sink in for a minute….

    He was unceremoniously fired after the fans got tired of going 9 – 7 and replaced with a know it all who won’t even win 7 games, which was Caldwell’s worst season.

    It is mind boggling to me that a man who raised the bar and expectations for a perennial and historically losing organization like the Detroit Lions would A) be replaced by someone who couldn’t even beat his worst record and is thus B) only considered a token interview for another head coaching job.

    Something is really wrong here.

  23. This logic that Caldwell is a good coach because he transformed a historically terrible Lions team into a mediocre one needs to stop. Caldwell had 4 years and went 4-26 against teams above .500, with ZERO playoff wins. He had multiple instances where he lined up 9 guys on the field, was an awful clock manager, and is one of the least innovative coaches in terms of game-planning and scheme design. He isn’t going to win you a Super Bowl ever so why hire him?

  24. Jim Caldwell is lowkey a really solid HC, not a game breaker by any means but just overall really solid. Tell you what, despite his age I wouldn’t be upset if a guy who has had a winning record in 5 of his 7 years as an HC (including an SB appearance) came to coach my team.

  25. I’d be very happy with Joe Philbin, he’s not conservative like McCarthy, system is in place, It was Joe’s offense that gave us the Ring back in 2010,

  26. I’m a lifelong Lions fan and 25 years from now, I expect to look back at the Caldwell years and realize he was another Wayne Fontes.

    He brought professional football to DTW.

  27. I’d like to think he’s getting a fair shake, and this isn’t just Rooney Rule compliance.

    .. sadly, working with Manning probably works against him. Its almost impossible to say he coached him up in any way.

  28. Rodger isn’t the problem for the packers it’s their defense can’t stop nobody. Plus Rodger have earned the right to have a said just like any other leader of the games of sports.

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