Jaguars could quickly improve with HC candidate Jim Caldwell at the helm

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

After firing Urban Meyer, the Jacksonville Jaguars are in the market for a new head coach. Fortunately, there will be several enticing options in the next hiring cycle, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. Another candidate gaining steam is former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell

Ian Rapaport of NFL Media reported the Jaguars are interested in interviewing Caldwell, Pederson, and Leftwich for their head coach opening. All of them are enticing options and you could make the case any of them would do a great job if they got hired.

This writer likes Pederson but Caldwell would also be a great hire. He worked with Joe Flacco back when he was the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens and the signal-caller showed improvement under his tutelage. Also, Caldwell was the head coach of Indianapolis when they made it to Super Bowl 44. However, his best work might have come at the helm of the Detroit Lions.

Caldwell coached the Lions from 2014 to 2017 and they made the playoffs twice under his watch. Nevertheless, the organization didn’t think he was doing a good enough job, and then-general manager Bob Quinn replaced him with Matt Patricia after the 2017 season. Quinn and Patricia were fired in 2020 and the Lions have had a 16-45 record over the last four years. so they should consider giving Caldwell a call and apologize for not knowing how good they had it when he was at the helm.

Jim Caldwell would be a great fit for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Caldwell has had a positive impact everywhere he’s gone and he’s got the endorsement of Tony Dungy. The Hall-of-Fame coach thinks Caldwell would be “an absolute perfect fit in Jacksonville“. He cites his track record working with quarterbacks and adds that he “would bring stability, structure, and class to the Jaguars.

Lawrence’s development will be one of the Jags’ top priorities next year but they also need to hire a head coach that can foster a healthy culture in Jacksonville. Meyer was supposed to do that but made things worse and created a dysfunctional work environment instead. Caldwell showed in Detroit he can take over tough situations when he took over a team that had just one winning season in the ten years prior to his arrival. He could oversee a similar rebuild in Jacksonville.

The one potential red flag when it comes to Caldwell could be his health. However, he said he’s taken care of the issue and is ready to return to the sidelines. Back in 2019, he was the Miami Dolphins’ assistant head coach but had to step away from the game to take care of his health. Although he hasn’t disclosed the condition he dealt with, Dungy says he’s medically cleared to coach, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

Caldwell wouldn’t be a splash hire and you could make the case that his 2-4 postseason record doesn’t look particularly great, but to lose in the playoffs you first have to get there. He stacks pretty well against other candidates in this coaching cycle and will make the Jaguars or another NFL team happy if they hire him.

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