WWCD: What Would Caldwell Do?
To be entirely honest, we don’t really know. He has been a scout in the glory days of personnel acquisition for the Indianapolis Colts and he has been instrumental as the head of college scouting in the rebuild of he Atlanta Falcons, but what are his opinions? I like Dave Caldwell based on his experience in helping create winning teams, but, to be perfectly frank, his experience has been doing the scouting and personnel work of the mind above him. Whether it’s Thomas Dimitroff or Bill Polian, that mind has had a plan and known just where to turn. It helped that Caldwell was frequently giving directions.
Matt Ryan, Robert Mathis, Peyton Manning, Julio Jones….these are some of the names of players who have had, or will have, lasting impacts on their respective teams. They are also players we saw brought on at the same time Caldwell was in place at Indianapolis and Atlanta. But would they have been players Caldwell would have gone after by himself? We know he was influential in the Jones trade, but was he convincing Dimitroff it had to be done or was it the other way around? We know Manning came to the Colts and has had a Hall of Fame career, but was Caldwell the guy advocating for Ryan Leaf in his reports? These are things we’ll probably never know.
But we have Caldwell in Jacksonville and, based on the body of work presented, we all pretty much like what we see. Caldwell knows that having a franchise quarterback is key to turning a franchise around (Manning and Ryan), he knows that playing to the strength of his coaches is crucial (Tony Dungy and Mike Smith), and he knows that balancing opinions is not just sought after in the NFL, it’s demanded. We don’t know who the Caldwell braintrust will be, but we’ll learn pretty quickly. Before the roster evaluation is done, we’ll be learning if Caldwell likes head coach Mike Mularkey more than is speculated, and after that it will be all about what Caldwell would do.
For now, our speculation is as good as yours and we’re all left wondering WWCD for the time being. The 2013 draft will be our first real clue.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims