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Report: Former Head Coaches Jim Caldwell, Lovie Smith to Interview with Detroit Lions

January 1st, 2014 at 1:37 PM
By Max DeMara

The Detroit Lions have finally seen some names surfaces in their search for the franchise's 25th head coach, and not unexpectedly, both have some solid experiences running other NFL teams.

'Bears vs Browns' photo (c) 2009, Brandon Zeman - license:

Both Lovie Smith and Jim Caldwell, formally of the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts respectively, are expected to interview for the Lions' vacant head coaching position, the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett reports. Birkett spoke with John Wooten, head of the Frtiz Pollard Alliance which promotes diversity in the NFL.

"Will he get an interview at your place? Yes he'll get an interview at your place," Wooten told the Free Press (regarding Caldwell)… Wooten said he's talked "extensively" with Martin Mayhew and he expects former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith to interview for the position left vacant when Jim Schwartz was fired on Monday.

Caldwell is currently the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, where he's been since 2012, helping Joe Flacco win the Super Bowl. Prior to that, he was the head coach in Indianapolis, where he compiled 14-2 and 10-6 records in 2009 and 2010. He lost the 2010 Super Bowl, and was ousted by the New York Jets in the playoffs the very next year. As an NFL head coach, he is a respectable 26-22 all-time, including 2-2 in the playoffs. He has deep experience as a quarterbacks coach, and has worked with one of the best in Peyton Manning, meaning the Lions might desire him to help Matthew Stafford's development.

Smith is a defensive coach, considering his work with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and St. Louis Rams in those particular roles. Like Caldwell, he has also worked under Tony Dungy, and amassed a 81-63 record in the NFL regular season, including a 3-3 postseason mark in Chicago, where he made the 2006 Super Bowl. Smith's best asset is his deep knowledge of the NFC North and Lions' personnel. He would arguably have more offensive weaponry to work with in Detroit than he ever enjoyed in Chicago, which would seem to alleviate many concerns about his candidacy. Defensively, Smith would find a decently loaded Detroit roster to work with, as well.

Either Caldwell or Smith would immediately bring a respected veteran voice to a locker room desperately in need of one. That's appearing most desirable in the wake of the Jim Schwartz tenure, considering Schwartz learned on the job since he took over in 2008 and developed plenty of discipline problems along the way.

Max DeMara is the managing editor of Lions 101. You can find him on this site's Twitter @detroitlions101

Tags: Detroit, Detroit Lions, Football, Jim Caldwell, Lovie Smith, NFL

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