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Jim Caldwell Hired As Detroit Lions Head Coach


The Ravens need a new offensive coordinator. 

Jim Caldwell has been hired by the Detroit Lions to be their next head coach. The Lions officially announced it late Tuesday afternoon.

Caldwell is the third of Harbaugh's former coaches to land a head coaching job elsewhere, following Rex Ryan (Jets) and Chuck Pagano (Colts).

Caldwell interviewed with the Lions first on Jan. 3 after the Ravens' season ended. He then went on to interview with the Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans. 

But with Ken Whisenhunt, the man rumored to be the Lions' first choice, heading to Tennessee, Caldwell became Detroit's man.

Caldwell, who was last a head coach in Indianapolis from 2009 to 2011, spent two years in Baltimore. 

He took over calling plays from Cam Cameron near the end of the 2012 season and helped boost the Ravens offense to the next level en route to a Super Bowl XLVII victory. The Ravens averaged 27 points per game during his those seven games. 

But Caldwell's offensive unit plunged in the rankings in 2013. The Ravens averaged 20 points per game, and scored just 30 total points once all year against Houston, which included defensive and special teams touchdowns. The offense was 29th in the NFL in yards per game (307.4).

"I enjoyed my time with Jim greatly," quarterback Joe Flacco said.

"He is a man that I will always respect as a football coach, leader and a friend. Through his calming influence and extensive knowledge of the game, he was an integral part of our success over the past few years. He will be missed by me and the Ravens. I wish him the best of luck in Detroit."

Caldwell is widely-regarded as a coach with exceptionally high character, and he'll bring that to a Lions team that has had discipline issues in recent years. 

He'll also bring his quarterback coaching expertise. Caldwell, who is well known for his work with quarterbacks and especially Peyton Manning, will now work with another young star in the Lions' Matthew Stafford. Caldwell was Flacco's quarterbacks coach in Baltimore before being promoted to offensive coordinator. 

There are reports that Caldwell could also call the offensive plays in Detroit. 

Caldwell is expected to take Ravens Secondary Coach Teryl Austin with him to Detroit to be his new defensive coordinator, according to multiple reports. Austin has worked with Baltimore's cornerbacks and safeties for the past three seasons, helping groom young, successful players such as Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams. 

The Ravens will now turn their focus to finding a new offensive coordinator, and it is not known whether they will promote an internal candidate or look outside the organization.

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