Step right up, Jim Caldwell.
Your first task as new Ravens offensive coordinator?
Out-wit your former protégé Peyton Manning.
Sunday’s game will be a classic teacher versus student moment as Manning and the Broncos come to M&T Bank Stadium.
Caldwell won’t be directly coaching against Manning, as they both are on offense, but the former Indianapolis Colts quarterbacks coach and his signal caller will be matching wits to see who can put up more points.
“With [Manning], it really is a chess match,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday.
“Those chess pieces are slamming into each other. There is an intellectual element to the game that we have to be very aware of. Jim has a handle on that, but Peyton understands that too.”
Of anybody around the league, Caldwell may know Manning best.
He was Manning’s quarterbacks coach for six years (2002-07) and his head coach for three. During that time, the two administered an up-tempo, audible-heavy attack that helped send Manning to nine Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl victory in 2006.
So Caldwell could help the Ravens in stopping Manning, who has brought Indianapolis’ offense to Denver. But Manning also knows that Caldwell knows him, so he could change.
“Peyton Manning is aware of that as well,” Harbaugh said. “He knows what Jim [Caldwell] knows about Peyton, so it’s one of those kinds of deals. There is no smarter quarterback than Peyton Manning.”
Caldwell won’t speak to the media until Thursday, but he’ll likely have plenty to say about his former scholar.