Former Lions head coach Jim Caldwell didn’t get the head coaching job with the Chicago Bears, but could he land there as the offensive coordinator instead?
Former Lions head coach Jim Caldwell was a finalist for the Chicago Bears head coaching job, which ultimately went to Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. By all appearances, Caldwell will not get his third chance to be an NFL head coach this year.
During his second interview, Caldwell apparently laid out an offensive plan to highlight the skill set of quarterback Justin Fields. With Fields’ development something like No. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 on the list of the priorities for Chicago until further notice, they still went with a defensive guy in Eberflus.
It’s fair to say Eberflus has to nail his offensive coordinator hire, or Fields will fall short and he’ll teeter toward being out of a job in short order. He’ll have to surrender the offense to said coordinator, without feeling compelled to interfere.
Could Jim Caldwell land with the Bears as the offensive coordinator?
Caldwell has an underappreciated history working with quarterbacks. Having prime Peyton Manning was helpful, but he was Indianapolis Colts quarterbacks coach and then head coach from 2002-2011. Lions fans of course know his work with Matthew Stafford, another high level pupil, in Detroit.
Caldwell moved to becoming the quarterbacks coach for the Baltimore Ravens in 2012. He took over as interim offensive coordinator in December of that season. Joe Flacco’s playoff run that culminated in a Super Bowl MVP (and him getting paid the next spring) came with Caldwell running the offense.
At 67 years old, Caldwell might be easily dismissed as an innovative offensive mind (which would be wrong). Maybe his presentation of a new offense during his second interview with the Bears was simply over the heads of some people in the building.
Along the line of hiring an offensive-minded head coach to work with Fields, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has openly wondered if the Bears made the right choice.
If Caldwell will entertain it after being passed over for the head coaching job, landing under Eberflus as the Bears’ offensive coordinator is not out of the question. But a “should they have just hired him as the head coach?” sentiment might easily follow.