This past weekend, it was reported that the Steelers were wooing former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell to be their offensive coordinator, a position Caldwell has never held at the collegiate or NFL level. Well, it turns out being a coordinator isn't what Caldwell is interested in doing.
After visiting the Steelers this weekend, former Colts HC Jim Caldwell plans to join Ravens offensive staff, likely as QB coach.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 30, 2012
Personally, I think this is a good move by Baltimore. Caldwell was a good QB coach from 2002-2008. Peyton Manning had his greatest seasons as a pro under Caldwell's guidance. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is very similar to Peyton in terms of physical ability. Caldwell will help him get better.
I'm happy Caldwell was able to get another job in the NFL. Let's just be honest: Many thought he was unqualified for the job he was handed in 2009, and those concerns turned out to be legit. I know several players liked and respected Caldwell, but in the two most critical areas that a head coach must excel in (coaching personnel and game management), Caldwell was lacking.
Also, this is just something I noticed about Caldwell: I don't find him particularly inspiring, nor does he he strike me as someone with integrity.
We can debate whether or not Larry Coyer was a "bad hire" as defensive coordinator in Indianapolis or not. Personally, I don't think he was a good one. Coyer has an excellent reputation, and what he planned to do with Indianapolis' defense wasn't much different than what new head coach Chuck Pagano wants to do. The reason things didn't work out is because Bill and Chris Polian sucked at talent evaluation during Coyer's tenure.
Regardless of how anyone feels about Coyer's ability to coach, the reality is he was Caldwell's hire. Coyer mentored Caldwell as a player and as a coach. The moment Bill and Chris Polian ordered Caldwell to fire Coyer, which everyone thinks happened back in November, a person of integrity would have told the Polians to go screw. It's the head coach who determines who the assistants are, not the friggin personnel department. If Caldwell had real stones, or morals, or whatever other term you want to use to describe integrity, he'd have told the Polians that firing Coyer in that way was wrong.
Tony Dungy, the man who got Caldwell his jobs in Indy, often talks about how he made a mistake back in 90s when he fired his offensive coordinator, Mike Shula, at the request of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers owners, the Glazer Family. Dungy stated that Shula was "his guy," and that if the owners didn't like the people Dungy was bringing in, maybe they needed to consider a change at head coach.
From my vantage, Caldwell fired Coyer, and later special teams coach Ray Rychleski, in an effort to save his own skin in Indianapolis. Rather than stand up for the men he personally hand-picked, Caldwell tossed them into the fire as a sacrifice to save his job.
Obviously, it didn't work.
We saw a similar scenario play out in Indianapolis back in 2001. After years of poor drafting and free agent decisions by the personnel department, Bill Polian scapegoated then-defensive coordinator Vic Fangio for the woeful play of the defense. He ordered then-coach Jim Mora, Sr. to fire Fangio. Mora refused. Polian ended up firing them both, but, at the very least, Mora stood up for his coaches. Caldwell could have taken a lesson from that.
So, again, I think Caldwell will do a fine job in Baltimore as the QB coach, but, for me, I don't particularly view him as any kind moral man that deserves respect. He strikes me as a "yes man" wiling to throw his colleagues under a bus in order to save his hide, which, in the end, didn't get saved. Maybe that critique is unfair, but I'm basing it off the man's actions, and at the end of the day you are defined by what you do, not what you say.