Lions Could do the Ravens Another Favor by Hiring Caldwell

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The Baltimore Ravens have confirmed reports that Jim Caldwell is interviewing for the Detroit Lions head coaching position.

Should he get hired, this would be a win-win for both organizations, and for minority coaches through the Fritz-Pollard Alliance (which promotes hiring of more minorities into head coaching and team front office positions).

Caldwell was widely credited for his help in developing the skills of Peyton Manning in the flex-style offense the Indianapolis Colts ran, which gave Manning a lot of options to change plays at the line, and run an up-tempo offense.

While Caldwell never served as an offensive coordinator for an NFL team before becoming the interim-OC of the Ravens late in the 2012 season, he had served as the head coach of Indianapolis, leading them to Super Bowl XLIV in 2009-10, where they lost to the New Orleans Saints.

Caldwell was successful in helping the Ravens play well in the playoffs last season en route to their Super Bowl XLVII win in January 2013, but the offense performed near the bottom of the league this season.

Joe Flacco, under Caldwell, played poorly this season with numbers that included greater than a yard-per-completion decline from 2012, the lowest yards per attempt of his career, and more interceptions than touchdowns for the first time. The Ravens were also better than only the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars in red zone touchdown percentage.

Caldwell potential hire by the Lions would be beneficial to that team in developing quarterback Matthew Stafford, which had been an issue under Jim Schwartz, and in making even better use of the team’s outstanding wide receivers including Pro Bowler Calvin Johnson.

It would also excuse Ravens head coach John Harbaugh of the potential decision to have to fire his OC. During his year-end news conference on December 31, Harbaugh would commit to making any specific coaching changes.

The Ravens’ offense in 2013 was very uninspired, and one-dimensional with a non-functioning running game (partly due to an injury to Ray Rice), scheme changes to the offensive line, and overall poor play of multiple linemen including Michael Oher, Bryant McKinnie, Gino Gradkowski. Even Marshall Yanda, who nevertheless made the Pro Bowl, wasn’t himself at times.

But Caldwell, knowing that Flacco had little time to throw, failed to make any significant changes in scheme to help Flacco out, and it showed during the season.

Losing Caldwell to a promotion would be the easiest solution to a major problem for the Ravens, without John Harbaugh having to make a tough call.

With the Lions’ top candidate Lovie Smith heading to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their head coaching position according to reports, Caldwell should figure to get some serious consideration after the Ravens Super Bowl win and Manning’s strong endorsement.

And if the Ravens OC is in fact lured away, somewhere out there John Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome and Steve Bisciotti will be smiling.

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About Tom Moore

Tom Moore
TOM MOORE is from Baltimore and writes on sports for Press Box, and he previously served as a columnist for The Baltimore Examiner on many topics related to Baltimore and Maryland. Described by many as a ‘Renaissance man,’ Mr. Moore has hosted the weekly radio program The Tom Moore Show...more

13 Raves on “Lions Could do the Ravens Another Favor by Hiring Caldwell

  1. Mac on said:

    “And if the Ravens OC is in fact lured away, somewhere out there John Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome and Steve Bisciotti will be smiling.”

    Not sure what you mean by that. If I’m not mistaken Mr. Caldwell was only extended through this season so isn’t he in effect a “free agent”? No reason for the FO to be smiling and hoping some other team takes him off our hands. Don’t like him, don’t re- sign him.

  2. Rolo on said:

    Calwell just like many other coaches has ridden the back of Peyton Manning to success! Just like those coaches who have ridden the back of Ray Lewis. Caldwell had a record of 26–63 in college. Harbs like Caldwell never played a down in the NFL and we now see neither can really coach (where was Ray Rice). Yes, Harbs got to the Super Bowl but that will be it! Where is Brian Billick, he rode to the top, took over the Ravens with Ray in his prime and can’t find a job. Why is no one raiding our coaching closet? Your only as good as the players around you and all the coaching in the world can’t change ability or attitude. No one is really addressing the fact that our last couple drafts have been a bust and the selections are beginning to show as duds. Bring in Kubiak to coach the offense and Schwartz to coach the defense!

  3. jb1007md on said:

    Did anyone see the UCF bowl game last night? I wonder if UCF OC Charlie Taaffe could make the transition to pro football? His offenses are incredible wherever he goes. The play calling and diversity was amazing against Baylor. Their running plays and O line play was awesome to watch, Baylor was stumped for all four quarters. If you remember, he was the OC under Ralph at Maryland during Ralph’s best years. Taaffe made Scott McBrien dynamite. I think we need new direction on offense, Caldwell may have been a flash hot streak last year. If you remember, Caldwell’s offense died at Indy when Peyton got hurt and this year the offense never corrected anything.

  4. Rolo on said:

    Take him please!

    Read the following: “In eight years, Caldwell had a record of 26–63. He installed a powerful passing attack that set numerous school records (many of which have since been broken under his successor, Jim Grobe). However, his teams rarely ran well; in one year the Demon Deacons’ leading rusher only notched 300 yards for the entire season. He only had one winning season, in 1999 when the Deacons won the Aloha Bowl”

    How is the guy still a coach in the NFL?

  5. catgirl54 on said:

    Puzzling as to why Caldwell would coach so well during the interim and not the whole season. Surely his skill set was the same? He did try the wildcat but we all know how well that went down with Flacco. There were so many problems with this team…we can’t possibly know even a fraction of what really went down. I even heard that there was friction between Flacco and Harbaugh in that Joe wanted to do more of his own playcalling and H. wouldn’t let him. Who knows?

  6. J.O. on said:

    Why is Caldwell all of a sudden a problem? At the end of the 2012 season and thru to the super bowl he provided a huge spark was considered by many the main reason we made our run. Now after a season in which we were without two of the top three targets on offense, the qb of the o line in Matt Birk, and our blocking scheme was completely changed and we want to start from scratch again? Please. Give the man a fair chance and another draft/off-season to regain some traction then talk to me after the 2014 season.

  7. Rick S on said:

    With the chaos that was introduced to the O line by Juan Castillo, I don’t know how to fairly assess Caldwell or the rest of the offense. Harb’s created this mess by putting Castillo in the position of running back coordinator and giving him control over the offensive line. I hate to see Caldwell or anyone else become the scapegoat for Harb’s disastrous decision re Castillo. For me, the Castillo disaster is round II of the Cam Cameron disaster.

  8. RaveOs on said:

    Do you really think anyone would hire Caldwell to be a head coach? You really think that is even possible? Would you hire him to be your head coach? I would not hire him to be my O coordinator. Head coach job for him seems unfathomable. I may be wrong, but I think it is so far fetched it is foolish to even discuss as a possibility.

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