Peyton Manning has had a run of statistical success during Caldwell's time
with the Colts ('02-06) that has rarely been seen since the invention of the
forward pass. While it could be argued that Manning pretty much coaches himself
(especially in preparation), Caldwell most certainly has his ear and helps
Manning on the sidelines between drives.
Caldwell has plenty of big game experience, since the Colts have been to the
playoffs every year he's been with the team.
He has head coaching experience, having coached Wake Forest from 1993-2000
(before joining Tony Dungy in his last season in Tampa).
He has worked with men that are highly successful and well respected (Dungy,
the venerable Joe Paterno, and Manning).
Chances are, Edgerrin James recommended him to management. That's the only
link I could find. If Edge likes him and respects him, the other players on the
team will like and respect him, since they like and respect James.
He has no other interviews scheduled. I had to Google him, which means that
I hadn't heard of him at all before the Cardinals decided to interview him. I
watch a lot of football and follow the off season moves of every team. If he
slipped off my radar (and the radars of the other teams in the league), how good
can he really be?
The Colts are still alive in the playoffs. The longer they survive, the
longer the Cardinals go without naming a head coach.
While he's currently an Assistant Head Coach (as far as I'm concerned, a
"paper title" to keep assistants from moving to other teams to become
coordinators), he's never been more than a quarterbacks coach in the NFL. He
has head coaching experience, but he hasn't had a great deal of experience with
an entire unit, nonetheless an entire team. Plus which, given the fact that
Manning has started every game for the Colts since the beginning of his career,
how much time do you think Caldwell actually spends with Jim Sorgi?
It could just be that Edge wanted to do one of his favorite coaches from his
former team a favor. Caldwell does have a pretty impressive background, some
head coaching experience, and he does coach a marquee player at a marquee
position. Edge might have wondered why no one was interviewing Caldwell and
recommend him to management.
The Cardinals had scheduled plenty of interviews; what was one more on the
pile? In the future, Caldwell will probably garner interest, and deservedly so,
with other teams. Plus which, it seems as though the Cardinals are an open
They've been burned by big name coaches and up-and-coming assistants. If
Caldwell blew them away in the interview, I don't see why he wouldn't get the
But, I also don't see how he could've gotten it. The Cardinals interviewed
hotter candidates and people with more experience. They'll settle on one of
those and watch as Caldwell becomes a "hot name" next off season.