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Panthers HC search: A quick look at Jim Caldwell

The Panthers have interviewed former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell for their vacant head coaching spot.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers continued their head coaching search on Monday, interviewing former Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell. The Panthers are actively searching for their replacement for Matt Rhule, who was fired following the 49ers game this year.

Jim Caldwell debuted as a head coach in 2009 as the Colts head coach after a pretty successful stint as their quarterbacks coach, one that saw him win a Super Bowl alongside Peyton Manning. Caldwell’s head coaching career went off with a bang, as a 14-2 regular season record helped lead the Colts to yet another Super Bowl that season where they eventually lost to the New Orleans Saints 31-17. The Colts once again made the playoffs during the 2010 season but fell to the New York Jets in the wild card round. Jim Caldwell was then fired after a 2-14 2011 season where Manning missed the entire season due to injury.

Jim Caldwell spent 2012 and 2013 as the Baltimore Ravens’ quarterbacks coach and eventually transitioned to offensive coordinator, where he again won a Super Bowl in 2013 as a coach over the San Francisco 49ers. This feat got him his second head coaching gig as the Detroit Lions head coach from 2014-2017. The Lions managed to make the wild card round of the playoffs in 2014 and 2016, but never made it any further than that. Caldwell was once again fired after a 9-7 2017 season where the Lions missed the playoffs. Caldwell has since spent time in the XFL and as the assistant head coach and QBs coach in Miami in 2019, but hasn’t officially held a coaching position in the NFL since that time.

Jim Caldwell posseses a decent resume as a head coach, though he had the benefit of working with franchise quarterbacks in Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford during his high points. Caldwell certainly isn’t the flashiest candidate, as we haven’t seen him lead a team in almost 4 years and he doesn’t possess the upside that many of these young offensive coordinators the Panthers are interviewing do. We largely know what he is, however 2 Super Bowl rings as a coach is certainly a lot more than many of the candidates the Panthers are reportedly interviewing can boast about. This strikes me as an interview to fulfill the Rooney Rule, but what do I know?

Jim Caldwell does fit the bill as an offensive minded head coach however. What are your thoughts, Panthers fans? How would you feel if the Panthers hired Caldwell?