Ravens' switch to Caldwell may have been turning point for season
Jim Caldwell has been straight forward about his desire to be a head coach again all season.
"I'd love to be able to do it again. But, it may not happen. ... Everybody in our profession certainly is looking for an opportunity to run their own program, and I’m no different than everybody else in that regard," Caldwell said, sprinkling his remarks with humor. "I'd like to do it one more time. I don’t want to coach until I am 85, like some of my mentors.”
But today, he'll have to be OK with offensive coordinator of the Ravens. If not for Caldwell's handy work in reshaping the play-calling and ability to execute particularly in the red zone, the Ravens wouldn't be playing the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 3 in New Orleans.
“I’m excited about it. I’m certainly very, very honored and humbled as well," said Caldwell, who was given the interim title after Week 14 when Cam Cameron was fired. Earlier this week, he accepted the offer to remain in the same role for 2013-14.
"It’s a great opportunity, particularly working within the organization. It’s a great organization from top to bottom and tremendous players to coach. So, we’re looking forward to it, but right now, I’m looking forward to this next ball game we have coming up, so that’s the most important thing."
Caldwell had never called plays in the NFL. He was quarterbacks coach with the Indianapolis Colts from 2002-09. He was head coach until last year when Caldwell was fired after a 2-14 season.
He was brought in by the Ravens as quarterbacks coach. In the postseason, Joe Flacco has flourished with Caldwell calling the plays. He has 8 TDs and no INTs
According to Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome, teams were interested in talking to Caldwell after the regular season. There were head openings in Philadelphia, Arizona, Kansas City, San Diego, Chicago, Buffalo, Jacksonville and Cleveland.
Because the Ravens were still alive in the postseason, Caldwell wasn't available to interview. No black coaches, including former Bears head coach Lovie Smith, were hired. That caused a ripple around the league which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate. It's also known as the Rooney Rule.
There are few black offensive coordinators in the NFL. As a result, the rule may be revised to include the role that Caldwell currently possesses in Baltimore. Offensive coordinators have a leg up on the field when interviewing for head coaching jobs.
"I do think that it is something that certainly needs to be revisited and it going to be revisited," Caldwell said. "There have been a lot of very intelligent men that have looked at it and said, ‘Hey, let’s look at this thing and talk about it in depth.’ So, I think that’s going to happen.”
Make no mistake, Caldwell doesn't have any regrets. He's in the Super Bowl again. It's his first time since 2009 when he led the Colts.
"I would certainly rather be right where I am, right now.... This doesn’t happen very often in your career, so to be fortunate enough to have this opportunity, I am thankful," Caldwell said. "The other things, they’ll take care of themselves somewhere down the road.”