Jim Caldwell was hired on February 8th, 2019 to serve as assistant head coach and quarterbacks’ coach for the Miami Dolphins. Caldwell returns to coaching after taking one season off, but his most recent head coaching job was with the Detroit Lions from 2014-2017. While Caldwell stepped away from coaching, he was hired by the reincarnated XFL to a panel that is consulting for the football portion of the new league. Jim Caldwell, however, does have college head coaching experience at Wake Forest from 1993-2000. After eight seasons in Winston-Salem, he had a record of 26-63 and unfortunately, he was fired after the 2000 season after having only one winning season in eight seasons.
After his time at Wake Forest Caldwell couldn’t have a found a better coach to work under in Tony Dungy and in the 2001 season, Dungy hired Caldwell as quarterbacks’ coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Unfortunately, after the 2001 season, Dungy was fired by the Buccaneers, but was shortly hired by the Indianapolis Colts for the 2002 season. Caldwell would be paired with Peyton Manning and also coaching with Tom Moore as the offensive coordinator and in 2006 the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17 in Super Bowl 41. After the 2008 season, Dungy would announce his retirement and Jim Caldwell would be promoted to head coach for the 2009 season and with the help of Peyton Manning, the Colts won AFC South and AFC Championship.
The Colts fell short of a Super Bowl in Caldwell’s first season as the head coach in Indianapolis by losing to the New Orleans Saints by a score of 31-17. The 2010 season ended with another AFC South Championship and a 10-6 finish, but the Colts were defeated in the AFC Wildcard round by the New York Jets. The 2011 Colts would have a season they would love to forget, and they finished the season with a pitiful 2-14 record, and it would be Caldwell’s last in Indianapolis also.
After Jim Caldwell was fired in Indianapolis, he would become the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens from 2012-2013, and Caldwell would earn his second Super Bowl ring after the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 44. After the 2013 season ended the Detroit Lions came calling for Jim Caldwell to become their next head coach and in Caldwell’s first season the Lions finished the year 11-5 and finished second in the NFC North but losing in the NFC Wildcard to the Dallas Cowboys. The next season the Lions would finish 7-9 and certainly did not live up to expectations prior to the year before. The Lions would improve in year three of Caldwell by finishing 9-7, but they were beaten by the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wildcard. The Lions in 2017 would finish 9-7 again, but this time they would miss the NFC playoffs and it showed the Lions were ready for new leadership, with Caldwell being fired.
After taking a season off from Coaching Caldwell returns to the NFL in South Florida to be on Brian Flores 2019 coaching staff. Caldwell a native of Beloit, Wisconsin and the 1977 graduate of the University of Iowa where he was a four-year starting defensive back. Caldwell was undrafted and he and his wife Cheryl have four children Jimmy, Jermaine, Jared, and Natalie. Caldwell as you know it also has quite a coaching tree of his own if you thought Tony Dungy had quite the tree look at Caldwell’s John Bonamego (Central Michigan 2015-2018), Ron Prince (Howard), Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts), Ron Turner (FIU 2013-2016), and Alex Wood (James Madison 1995-1998). One of those coaches led their team to the AFC Divisional Playoffs this past season and he was also part of one of the greatest comebacks in NFL Playoffs history.
Personally, this is a great coaching scenario I definitely see working out and whatever decision team management makes on what’s going on with Ryan Tannehill or if they decide to sign another veteran or even perhaps draft a quarterback, I believe Caldwell and offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea can work together to get quarterback play going in the right direction in South Florida. I believe with O’Shea as the offensive coordinator will be the play caller, but personally, I have no doubt that Jim Caldwell will be involved in the play calling and take control of offensive meetings even though Flores makes the decisions on that I feel Caldwell will be more involved than we think.
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