There was an assumption that, by bringing in Super Bowl winning Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian to head the Bears’ committee responsible for unearthing general manager and head coach options, that the team would lean heavily on people with ties to Polian. And while there have been some with those connections, it hasn’t been overwhelmingly Polian-ish.
But this potential interviewee has significant Polian ties:
A source close to Jim Caldwell says the former NFL head coach is expecting to be interviewed for the Chicago Bears head coaching job. Several NFL officials also say Caldwell – the former Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts head coach – is a presumed candidate for the Bears job.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 15, 2022
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that Jim Caldwell expects to interview for the Chicago Bears head coach opening. If Caldwell makes his way onto the list, he’ll join a group of candidates that includes just three other former head coaches (Doug Pederson, Dan Quinn, Brian Flores). Not to say that prior head coaching experience is a requirement for the gig. But it can’t hurt.
Caldwell, 66, had a good run with the Colts while Polian was in the top executive spot. The Caldwell Colts went 26-22 with a trip to the Super Bowl in his first season running the show. Having Peyton Manning slinging it helps, obviously. But Caldwell also had a winning record in Detroit. In fact, his .563 winning percentage with the Lions is better than the .542 mark he had with the Colts. Moreover, Caldwell’s Lions had winning campaigns in three of his four years in the Motor City. That includes 9-7 marks in each of his last two seasons. In fact, no coach has put together a winning record since Caldwell was fired after the 2017 season. Tough break for the kitties in Motor City.
Caldwell won’t be the most popular candidate on the circuit, but his résumé and background as a coach whose offenses ran efficiently should be intriguing to many. The same can be said for Caldwell’s football connections. He employed Frank Reich as an offensive assistant before his breakout as a coach. Caldwell has also worked for Tony Dungy (Assistant Head Coach/Quarterbacks Coach), Brian Flores (Asst. HC/QBs), and John Harbaugh (OC, QBs Coach). Considering the buzz surrounding Flores’ name in Chicago, it would be interesting to see if those two could come as a package deal. We’re probably a ways away from going down that rabbit hole. Nevertheless, I want you to know that rabbit hole exists.
We’ll keep our eyes open to see if Caldwell officially joins the ranks of interview candidates. In the meantime, it is appropriate to note the connections.