May 16, 2022

Bears News

Analyzing the Bears head coach finalists: Jim Caldwell

The Bears have interviewed former Indianapolis and Detroit coach Jim Caldwell for their head coaching vacancy.

The Bears appear to be working out a deal to hire Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles as general manager, according to reports.

Poles, 36, brings 13 years of front office experience, but has never been an NFL general manager. His first move, and one of his most important moves, will be to hire a new head coach.

The Bears’ five-person search panel has already interviewed a dozen candidates for head coach. One candidate is back for a second interview Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Schefter reports that Jim Caldwell is at Halas Hall on Tuesday, along with Poles. Could the Bears be looking to team up a first-time general manager with one of the most experienced head coaches on the market?

Here’s what to know about Caldwell.

Jim Caldwell

Current position: None. Last served as the QB coach with the Miami Dolphins in 2019. Resigned for health reasons.

Head coach experience: Seven seasons (Indianapolis 2009-11; Detroit 2014-17)

Head coaching record: 62-50

Playoff record: 2-4

Accomplishments: Won an AFC title with the Indianapolis Colts in 2009. The Colts lost Super Bowl XLIV to New Orleans. ... Made four playoff appearances in seven years, including two division titles, both with Indianapolis. ... Brought the Lions to the playoffs twice as an NFC wild card team. ... Recorded a winning record in five of seven seasons as a head coach.

Chicago connections: Grew up in Beloit, Wisconsin, just north of Rockford over the Wisconsin border. ... Played college football at Iowa in the 1970s and served as an assistant coach at Southern Illinois and Northwestern several decades ago. ... Bears advisor Bill Polian hired Caldwell as Colts head coach when Tony Dungy retired after the 2008 season.

Pros: One of the few former NFL head coaches out there who can point to a winning record on his resume. ... By all accounts, he was beloved by his players. His leadership abilities are one of his strongest qualities. ... He has a vast experience level that few coaches can match. He was Peyton Manning’s quarterback coach through the mid-2000s, including when the Colts beat the Bears in Super Bowl XLI. He was also Joe Flacco’s QB coach when the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII. ... He could apply that QB resume to his work with Justin Fields.

Cons: Maybe not a flashy hire. Some might question if a 67-year-old now coaching his third team is the right hire to instill confidence in the organization long term. ... His age is of note, as is the fact that he left a coaching job with the Dolphins due to health reasons in 2019. Is he going to be here for the long haul? ... He has never won a playoff game as a head coach without Peyton Manning as his quarterback.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.