Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell is set to interview Friday for the Detroit Lions' head coaching vacancy next week, according to Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten.
"He has a great shot," Wooten said Thursday in a text message to The Baltimore Sun.
Wooten said he's been talking regularly with Lions general manager Martin Mayhew and anticipates Caldwell interviewing Wednesday or Thursday. The Washington Redskins have also asked for and been granted permission by the Ravens to interview Caldwell, Wooten said.
“We were extremely disappointed last year when Jim didn't get a single interview, especially after reaching the mountaintop with the Ravens and winning the Super Bowl,” Wooten said. “Jim did such a great job with Joe Flacco and him being a Super Bowl Most Valuable Player. Jim had a great experience with the Colts. We feel very strongly that he will be a great candidate for the Lions."
Wooten, who runs an organization that promotes diversity in the NFL and holds teams accountable for abiding by the Rooney Rule to interview deserving minority candidates, praised Caldwell's leadership and coaching skills.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday that he expects some of his assistant coaches to have opportunities to get jobs with other NFL teams. Caldwell and run game coordinator Juan Castillo could fall into that category.
The Fritz Pollard Alliance has recommended the following minority coaches to NFL teams: Cincinnati Bengals running backs coach Hue Jackson, Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton, Caldwell, Smith and Green Bay Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss.
Caldwell won a Super Bowl as an assistant with the Indianapolis Colts and reached the Super Bowl as a head coach. He coached Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for a decade.
The Ravens promoted Caldwell to offensive coordinator last season, elevating him from quarterbacks coach to replace Cam Cameron.
Caldwell coached Flacco through a postseason run in which the quarterback completed 73 of 126 passes for 1,140 yards, 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 117.2 quarterback rating.
When Caldwell was with the Colts, they made nine consecutive playoff appearances and won seven AFC South division titles.
This year, though, the Ravens finished 29th in total offense as Flacco threw a franchise-record 22 interceptions and running back Ray Rice struggled with injuries and rushed for 660 yards -- his lowest total since becoming a full-time starter in 2009.
Caldwell was also the head coach at Wake Forest for eight years.
As a former Penn State assistant, Caldwell has also been linked to the Nittany Lions' opening following coach Bill O'Brien being hired by the Houston Texans.
Caldwell's background with quarterbacks could come in handy with Lions starter Matthew Stafford.
“Jim can do great things for Stafford,” said Wooten, a longtime former NFL scouting executive with the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Ravens. “He can bring some discipline to Detroit that they definitely need.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun