Manning gave Caldwell a strong recommendation when Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and Harbaugh called the former Colts quarterback when Caldwell became available. Caldwell also talked with the Pittsburgh Steelers about their offensive coordinator's job.
While Caldwell and Manning eventually became close off the field because of their strong faith, the basis of their relationship was in taking the same approach to the game.
“He was extremely detailed,” Manning said. “I've always considered myself a good note-taker; Jim Caldwell might be the all-time note-taker. He always referred to those notes. I've always been a routine kind of guy and Jim Caldwell was very much the same kind of way. Prepractice drills, warm-ups, going over mechanics.”
In the short time he has worked with Caldwell, Flacco can see what Manning is talking about.
“Definitely, you can see that attention to detail right away,” Flacco said. “As an offensive guy, offense is generally detail-orientated, and you can see that Jim follows the general rules. You can see it in the meeting rooms especially — just the way we go about things in how detailed he is and going through everything to make sure he sees things the same way I do and I see things the same way he does. We always talk and have that open communication to ensure we have similar thoughts about something. He definitely wants everyone to be on the same page and everyone to be detail-orientated, and I've been able to pick that up in the couple weeks I've been with him.”
Dungy said that Caldwell's strength as a quarterbacks coach — the only position he has ever held in the NFL aside from being the head coach of the Colts — is that “I think he tailors the guy's mental approach to the game really well, he breaks it down and makes it really easy to understand what you have to do to be a great quarterback mentally.”
Said Manning, whose career will resume with the Denver Broncos after he missed the entire 2011 season with a neck injury: “I'll always be very indebted to him for what he did for me. I felt like I definitely improved during our time together. I certainly had some of my best years as a quarterback under his tutelage.”