Lions hire Ravens OC Caldwell as coach

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The Detroit Lions hired Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell as their head coach Tuesday.

Baltimore may have decided to part ways with Caldwell even if he hadn't found a head coaching job, so the move seemingly works out well for both sides.

The Ravens hired Caldwell as their quarterbacks coach in 2012. He replaced Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator late in the regular season and helped turn around a Baltimore offense that had struggled under Cameron. The Ravens scored 33 points in a late regular season win over the New York Giants and then scored an average of 31 points in their four playoff games on their way to winning the Super Bowl.

However, Baltimore's offense was bad while under Caldwell's direction this season, finishing fourth-worst in the NFL in total offense and third-worst in rushing offense.

Nonetheless, Caldwell, 58, is a respected offensive mind around the league, and the Lions will depend on him to help quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Stafford has thrown for 4,650 yards or more each of the last three years, but he threw 11 interceptions during Detroit's final six games of this season.

"Congrats to Coach Caldwell," Baltimore wide receiver Torrey Smith tweeted Tuesday. "Great coach/teacher and even better person ... he always taught us something new. ... he will do well in Detroit."

As for the Ravens, they will begin their search for their third different offensive coordinator in less than two years.

Baltimore may promote from within. Wide receivers coach Jim Hostler was the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator in 2007.

But the Ravens are probably more likely to look outside the organization.

Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo was one option until he was hired as the New York Giants offensive coordinator, according to a Giants announcement Tuesday. McAdoo had reportedly also interviewed with the Miami Dolphins for the same position.

Caldwell's hire may also leave Baltimore with other positions to fill.

"I'm excited for Matthew Stafford & the Detroit Lions," former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy tweeted Monday.

"I think he's going to flourish under Jim Caldwell. Lions will be a playoff team in '14."

Caldwell worked under Dungy for seven seasons.

He was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterbacks coach under Dungy in 2001 and then spent six years under Dungy with the Colts before taking over as Indianapolis' head coach when Dungy retired following the 2008 season.

The Colts went 14-2 under Caldwell in 2009 and advanced to the Super Bowl, but they lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs in 2010 and then went 2-14 in 2011.

Caldwell was fired following that season and eventually joined the Ravens.