When the Arizona Cardinals set out to replace Steve Wilks, their one year only head coach, they made it known that fixing the offense and helping Josh Rosen were two of the keys.
Well, they didn’t say that, since you know they are keeping everything close to the vest, but their interviews said that.
Yes, what the Cardinals want is someone who is not only an offensive coach, but someone who has been competent in creating offensive schemes for different quarterbacks.
Enter Jim Caldwell, the likely oldest head coaching candidate the Arizona Cardinals sneakily interviewed on Thursday.
Caldwell has been coaching for 40 years, longer than most of the Cardinals other candidates have been alive.
He has been an quarterback coach, offensive coordinator and head coach in his career.
Most recently, he had one of the most successful runs in Detroit Lions history, going 36-28 in four seasons and reaching the playoffs twice.
Those numbers are not great, but when you consider he was the first Lions coach since 1972 to finish with a winning career record, it is astounding.
Caldwell’s offenses are hard to nail down, because you hate giving him the Peyton Manning boost from his time in Indy, but he was credited with helping the Ravens win the 2013 Super Bowl after taking over for Cam Cameron when fired.
He was the offensive coordinator for 2013, the whole season, they finished 29th in yards, 25th in points and struggled to run the football.
His Detroit offenses were not much better:
2014: 19th in yards, 22nd in points, 28th in rushing and 12th in passing
2015: 20th in yards, 18th in points, 32nd in rushing and 9th in passing
2016: 21st in yards, 20th in points, 30th in rushing, and 18th in passing
2017: 12th in yards, 7th in points, 32nd in rushing, and 6th in passing
The crazy thing is, here are all of his coaching records:
2009: 14-2 (AFC Champs)
2010: 10-6 (First round loss)
2014: 11-5 (First round loss)
2016: 9-7 (First round loss)
For those keeping track, that is 62-50 with only two losing seasons in seven seasons of coaching.
That’s a crazy number.
That’s why, if the Cardinals went with Caldwell, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
He is a steadying influence, something the organization needs. He is a guy who gets players to play hard and coaches them hard.
He is a regular season winner and someone who will put the ship back in the right direction. It just, doesn’t have much pizzazz behind it.
What do you think of Caldwell?