According to one source, The Lions’ talks with Caldwell turned into negotiations.
Pay per head services found out that earlier on Monday, while the team were waiting on a decision from Ken Whisenhunt – who ultimately took the job with the Tennessee Titans – the Lions kept open discussions with Caldwell and his representatives.
And former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy spoke with Lions vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. to confirm strong attributes that he believed Caldwell would bring to Detroit. Price per head sportsbooks saw that Caldwell coached under Dungy while with the Buccaneers and Colts before succeeding him in Indianapolis.
“I already had told [Lions GM] Martin Maywhew that Caldwell is a great match for a team that has the personnel of being capable of playing in the Super Bowl,” Dungy said. “I think the Lions were not only impressed with Jim’s interview but they were pleasantly surprised by the number of former Colts players who called on his behalf. Jim made Peyton Manningan even better quarterback — look at the numbers and wins — and I think he can do the same for Matthew Stafford.
“I know the Lions also want discipline and good character in the locker room. I’m not saying their other candidates can’t achieve those things but those are Jim’s strengths with his background, especially from his influence under Joe Paterno at Penn State and hopefully in our program in the NFL.”
Detroit had ex-Titans coach Mike Munchak – a former Paterno player – high on their list. According to sources, they were “pleasantly surprised” with Munchak’s presence, leadership, and his plan. Pay per head services learned that on Monday the Browns were interviewing Munchak in Tennessee for their vacancy.
Whisenhunt was seen as the leading candidate for the Lions, but both sides were wondering whether it was a good match, including Whisenhunt’s preference to run a defense of 3-4 with players who were mainly drafted for a 4-3 scheme.
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Price per head sportsbooks also learned that former Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak was also interviewed by the Lions.