Ever since the Detroit Lions let Jim Caldwell go following the 2017 season, he’s been a hot name to become a head coach again at the NFL level. This year, his name is hotter than ever, and it appears he’s now a candidate to join the NFC North again. Per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Caldwell is expected to interview for the open Chicago Bears head coaching job.
If Caldwell scores the job, it would be a rare moment for a former Lions head coach. In the Super Bowl era, only one former Lions head coach has ever found another head coaching job in the NFL—and that comes with an asterisk because that man, Dick Jauron, was only an interim head coach in Detroit. Caldwell would not only break that streak, but could do so while also landing with a divisional rival.
Chicago is an interesting pairing for Caldwell. Considering all that he did for Matthew Stafford and Peyton Manning, you could see how Caldwell could be a tempting mentor for a young Justin Fields. There’s plenty of logic for the Bears to pair a pretty talented quarterback with someone who has the track record Caldwell does.
Caldwell was with the Lions from 2014 to 2017. He had a 36-28 record with the team and coached them to the playoffs twice. Since then, Caldwell has scored a handful of head coaching interviews—most recently with the Jaguars last week—but his only foray back into coaching was a stint with the Miami Dolphins in 2019. He was the team’s assistant head coach and quarterback coach briefly, but took a leave of absence before the season even started to address his own health.
Caldwell is just one of many candidates the Bears are considering for their head coaching job. They have already completed interviews of Doug Pederson and Brian Flores, and have requested to interview Dan Quinn, Matt Eberflus, Byron Leftwich, Todd Bowles, Nathaniel Hackett, Leslie Frazier, and Brian Daboll.