Jim Caldwell interviews with Houston Texans, tries to break Detroit Lions head coach curse

Detroit Free Press

Marlowe Alter
| Detroit Free Press

Jim Caldwell has a chance to make history, and break a long-standing Detroit Lions curse.

The Houston Texans announced Monday they met with Caldwell to interview him for their vacant head coach position. If he gets the job there or elsewhere, he would become the first former Lions full-time head coach since Buddy Parker to get another NFL head coaching job after exiting Detroit.

Parker coached the Lions to two NFL titles in the 1950s, then became Pittsburgh Steelers head coach in 1957; George Wilson, who led the Lions to their last NFL title in 1957, joined the AFL’s Miami Dolphins as head coach in 1966.

The Texans fired general manager/coach Bill O’Brien in October after an 0-4 start. Houston is 4-6 under interim coach Romeo Crennel, and is led by fourth-year quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Meet Lions GM candidate: Ex-Texans GM Rick Smith pros, cons ]

Beloved by his players, Caldwell, 65, was fired after four seasons with the Lions (2014-17), going 36-28 in the regular season and 0-2 in the postseason. He was 11-5 in 2014, 7-9 in 2015, 9-7 in 2016 and 2017. During his stint, the Lions won just four games over teams that finished above .500.

Lions GM Bob Quinn was hired in 2016, and fired Caldwell on New Year’s Day in 2018, saying the team needed to take the next step. Quinn hired his friend Matt Patricia, and both were fired two days after Thanksgiving this season, compiling a putrid 13-29-1 record in two-and-a-half seasons.

Caldwell was hired as the Dolphins’ assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach in 2019, but before training camp, took a leave of absence due to health reasons. He remained a consultant with the team. He was out of football this season.

Caldwell went 26-22 in three seasons as the Indianapolis head coach in 2009-11, losing in the Super Bowl to New Orleans in his first year.

Follow Marlowe Alter on Twitter: @Marlowe Alter

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