DETROIT (AP) — Jim Caldwell got a ringing endorsement from one of his mentors when Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew was doing his homework.
The Lions hired Caldwell on Tuesday to replace fired coach Jim Schwartz, ending a search that included a phone conversation between Mayhew and Tony Dungy.
“Martin called me and said we’re looking for a leader who can help turn our locker room into a winning one and to help us get the most out of our investment in Matthew Stafford,” Dungy recalled in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I told Martin that Jim Caldwell is exactly what you’re looking for. He’ll lead by making people accountable and by being a role model on and off the field. And with his attention to detail and history of developing quarterbacks, Stafford is going to flourish just like Peyton Manning did with us in Indianapolis.”
Caldwell helped the Indianapolis Colts reach the Super Bowl after his debut season in 2009, but was fired two years later after a 2-14 season while Manning was injured, dropping his three-year mark to 26-22.
Caldwell was hired by Baltimore two years ago to be their quarterbacks coach and was promoted to offensive coordinator late in the 2012 season. The Ravens went on to win the last Super Bowl.