Jim Caldwell Goes to Bat for Minority Coaching Candidates, Says Bears Interest Was "Strong" Last Offseason

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Jim Caldwell Goes to Bat for Minority Coaching Candidates, Says Bears Interest Was “Strong” Last Offseason

Chicago Bears

You might recall Jim Caldwell interviewed for the Chicago Bears head coaching position last offseason.

And in this piece over at The 33rd Team, Caldwell reflects on that experience:

When it comes to teams interviewing you as a minority candidate, I think you can discern rather quickly whether there’s a strong interest or they’re just trying to check the box. I’ve had maybe one or two interviews some time ago that they were just checking the box. But the last two — with the Jaguars and Bears last January — had strong interest because they had young quarterbacks they wanted to be developed. So, there was a place for me.

There were a bunch of interesting takeaways from the story. However, I found the Bears-related anecdote to be among the most intriguing.

Caldwell was a relative outsider when it came to last season’s NFL coach interview cycle. But because the Bears had a young quarterback worth developing in Justin Fields, it made sense to interview an experienced offensive mind and molder of quarterbacks — even if he didn’t necessarily fit the boxes that current NFL hiring cycles tend to be looking for right now. Caldwell didn’t end up getting the job. But I think it is important that Caldwell came away from his interviews with the Bears having a sense that their interest was genuine. Especially when, in the same post, Caldwell tells a story about an interview in which the interviewer didn’t know Caldwell coached Joe Flacco or that he was an OC in a Super Bowl. That’s rough. And a bad look for that anonymous team.

But as Caldwell says, one can be quick to discern the difference between real interest and just trying to fulfill the Rooney Rule obligations.

With that in mind, I found this admission from Caldwell about his future to be eye-opening:

Caldwell seems to have reached a turning point in his coaching career. With other candidates on the rise, Caldwell is pivoting and preparing to bang the drum for minority coaching candidates to get their due.

Even if it means if Caldwell, himself, gets passed over once again.

That’s deep. This one-on-one with The 33rd Team is good reading that gives proper perspective. You should give it a read when you get a chance.

I imagine it’ll sting for Caldwell to miss out on another head coaching opportunity when the next hiring period comes. Caldwell hasn’t been a head coach in the NFL since leading the Lions to a 9-7 record in 2017. Caldwell probably should’ve been hired shortly after his time with the Lions came to an end. But he hasn’t been a head coach since his dismissal from Detroit. And the Lions haven’t had a winning season since, so that feels like some sort of karma. Caldwell, 67, might not get too many bites at the head coaching apple. But there are others who could be getting their first chance beginning this offseason. And they’ll have Caldwell’s support.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.