You can throw one more experienced name into the ring for the Denver Broncos head coaching vacancy. According to Josina Anderson, the Broncos will interview former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell. Caldwell is a seasoned NFL coach with plenty of head coaching experience on his résumé.
He coached the Colts from 2009-2011 and then the Lions from 2014-2017. He has a head coaching record of 62-50 and has been part of two Super Bowl victories. A former defensive back at Iowa, Caldwell has carved out a tremendous coaching career on the offensive side of the ball as a wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator, and head coach both at the NFL and collegiate level (Wake Forest).
Caldwell’s inclusion after the Denver Broncos’ head coach candidate list seemed to be finalized is rather intriguing. Perhaps the Broncos decided their list wasn’t expansive enough, or maybe they decided that they wanted more outside opinions of Russell Wilson and his 2022 season as a whole.
Or maybe the ownership group is really listening to one Peyton Manning…
Denver Broncos surprisingly interviewing Jim Caldwell
Let’s make a clear distinction here — it’s not surprising that Jim Caldwell is getting interviewed by the Broncos, even though he hasn’t had an official coaching role in the league since 2019. What’s surprising here is the fact that it seemed like their list was finalized a couple of days ago and they actually had this interview lined up for today.
Why would it seem Peyton Manning might have some influence here? Well, Manning knows Caldwell extremely well from their time together with the Colts. Caldwell was in the organization from 2002-2011, so he spent the entirety of that time with Manning, all but four seasons of his entire career with the Colts. He was Manning’s position coach, and then when the Colts blew things up in 2012, Caldwell became the quarterbacks coach in Baltimore.
Where they beat the Broncos in the playoffs en route to the Super Bowl, and Caldwell coached with John Harbaugh, the brother of Jim Harbaugh who is considered a favorite for the Denver Broncos’ top job.
If nothing else, we’ve increased the chances here that someone named “Jim” is coaching the Broncos in 2023.
What is perhaps the most incredible feat of Caldwell’s coaching career is the fact that, in four seasons with the Detroit Lions, he managed to help lead the team to the playoffs two times. Three years out of four in Detroit with a winning season in three? That’s bordering on mythical.
Manning’s input undoubtedly matters to the ownership group, but how much input might interim head coach Jerry Rosburg have, considering they were together in Baltimore for a long period of time as well?
The Denver Broncos could be making a massive mistake in their current head coaching search if the candidate list is limited to just six.
This is an unexpected twist in the Denver Broncos head coaching search but there’s no doubt it’s a positive development. Caldwell could assemble a tremendous staff around him and would be a great manager of the team. The only thing that might worry some? He’s 67 years old at this point, which may not be ideal in terms of bringing in a coach with longevity as opposed to looking at a window.