Though the Green Bay Packers have a game remaining on their 2018 schedule, the process of finding their next head coach has already begun in earnest. According to Pro Football Talk, the team has interviewed former Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions headman Jim Caldwell for the position.
Caldwell becomes the first candidate to formally interview for the position vacated by Mike McCarthy. Caldwell has a 62-50 career record as a head coach, guiding the Colts to the Super Bowl in 2009. However, Caldwell hasn’t won a playoff game as a head coach since that season, going 0-3 with Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford as his quarterbacks.
That Caldwell comes from outside the Packers organization matters. The NFL recently updated the Rooney Rule -- the stipulation that teams must interview at least one minority candidate for a vacancy at head coach -- to force clubs to interview such candidates not already on their staff in order to fulfill the requirement. For years, teams have hastily interviewed a minority assistant already in house so as to obey the letter, but not the spirit, of the law. The Oakland Raiders received criticism for doing exactly when they quietly interviewed tight-end coach Bobby Johnson after already agreeing to make Jon Gruden their next head coach last January.
As such, Caldwell’s interview satisfies the Rooney Rule, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Green Bay doesn’t consider him a viable candidate. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday that multiple teams have looked into Caldwell as a candidate.
The Packers will interview more coaches from outside the organization after the regular season concludes on Sunday. The list of rumored candidates includes Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, the New England Patriots’ Josh McDaniels, and Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley.