Throughout the Browns' search for a new head coach, ClevelandBrowns.com will break down the candidates after their interview with the team is complete. It continues today with a look at Jim Caldwell, who has won more than 100 games as an NFL head coach.
1. Caldwell landed his first NFL head coaching gig in Indianapolis when he took over for Tony Dungy, who retired following the 2008 season. Dungy helped bring Caldwell to the NFL, giving him his first professional job with the Buccaneers as quarterbacks coach after Caldwell's eight-year run as head coach at Wake Forest came to an end. Caldwell worked closely with Peyton Manning as the team's assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach for seven seasons before taking over as Dungy's successor.
2. It's hard to have a better debut season as head coach than the one Caldwell had in 2009. Indianapolis went 14-2 (winning the first 14), won the AFC and advanced to its second Super Bowl of the Manning era. The Colts followed it up with another AFC South division crown in 2010 but were eliminated in the Wild Card round. Caldwell's last season with the Colts was a struggle, as the team went 2-14 without Manning, who was sidelined for the year following neck surgery. Under Caldwell, Manning won the MVP in 2009, and the Colts boasted the NFL's best passing offense in 2010.
3. In Caldwell's four seasons with the Lions, Detroit advanced to the playoffs once and posted winning records in all but one. Under Caldwell's watch, quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 64.6 percent of his passes with 107 touchdowns and 45 interceptions while averaging more than 4,300 yards per season. Detroit ranked in the top half of the NFL in passing offense during all four of Caldwell's seasons and topped out at sixth in 2017. Caldwell was relieved of his duties after posting a 9-7 record for a second consecutive season. Detroit went 6-10 in 2018.
4. A four-year defensive back at Iowa, Caldwell went straight into coaching as a graduate assistant with Southern Illinois in 1977. He primarily coached wide receivers during the first decade of his coaching career before transitioning to quarterbacks while at Penn State. Caldwell helped mold Kerry Collins into a Davey O'Brien Award winner and eventual No. 1 draft pick. He landed his first head coaching gig in 1993 with Wake Forest. His best season with the Demon Deacons came in 1999, when the team went 7-5 and won the Aloha Classic. Wake Forest ranked in the top-25 nationally in passing offense in four different seasons under Caldwell.
5. Though he wasn't coaching in any capacity in 2018, Caldwell kept busy as a consultant with the XFL, which is set to return in 2020. The committee Caldwell joined included former NFL coach John Fox, former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie and Oliver Luck, the father of NFL All-Pro quarterback Andrew Luck who was appointed as the league's CEO and commissioner.