First Days on Job Will Involve Meeting with Assistants, Caldwell Says
INDIANAPOLIS – As of Tuesday, Jim Caldwell said he sees things differently.
He said he has to do so.
His new position demands it.
Caldwell, who on Tuesday afternoon was announced as the Colts' 17th head coach, said although he is familiar with the Colts' organization having spent the last seven years as an assistant, he will spend the coming weeks reassessing from his new position.
That, Caldwell said, will be an imant process.
And he said it may be a process that brings change.
"My view and my perspective have changed," Caldwell said Tuesday during a press conference at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
"Now, I'm going to start to look at things from a different lens. That's going to be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to that."
Caldwell, a Colts assistant since 2002 and the team's associate head coach this past season, said he will spend the coming days meeting with the coaching staff and familiarizing himself with head coaching duties that involve aspects of the organization outside football.
The meetings with the coaches, Caldwell said, are important even though he has worked with most for more than a half decade.
"I know the guys and know them well, yet – a little different perspective," Caldwell said. "We sit down and we talk about some things and we try to make certain we have a good understanding of one another and where we plan to go with this situation. . . .
"It's all new. It's all different. It's a little different perspective, and I'm certainly happy to be a part of it. I can't wait to put my stamp on things."
Caldwell said Frank Reich, an offensive assistant this past season and a 14-year NFL quarterback with Buffalo, Carolina, the New York Jets and Detroit, will be elevated to quarterbacks coach. He said there could be other coaching staff changes, too.
"In this game, there are some changes," Caldwell said. "We have a lot of quality coaches on our staff, and some of them are being pursued by other organizations. That can play into it as well."
Caldwell said the past year as associate head coach "has been invaluable."
"As assistant head coach, basically the duties are you are there in case something happens with Tony – if he's away from the office, or if he was involved on some activity where you had to run practice," Caldwell said. "You were the designee. You didn't necessarily get an opportunity to get a bird's eye view or an inside look or go behind the curtain and see what was going on in terms of the decision-making process."
Caldwell said that changed in the past year, during which he met at times with Colts President Bill Polian, Vice President of Football Operations Chris Polian and Director of Player Personnel Tom Telesco on personnel matters. Caldwell said Dungy also allowed him a more active role in coaching areas.
"It was a great, great experience for me, because it gave me a chance to really have hands-on contact with things that are going to be vital to me," Caldwell said. "Bill and Jim and Chris and the rest of the group were gracious enough to allow me to come in to the draft room and sit and listen, but I also had an opportunity to evaluate every single player we drafted. Before, I would just look at the quarterbacks.
"It was a lot of fun. It was exciting, and I also saw why we've been very, very productive over the years. You can see from the results – and it goes without saying – that these men are excellent at what they do. I'm certainly glad to have an opportunity to see them work.
"It gave me a little different view, a little different perspective. That's where it made the difference."
Caldwell said while his background on offense could lead to slightly heavier involvement in offensive meetings than defensive, he said will be involved in each.
"The first quarter of my career was all defense," Caldwell said. "I have some familiarity with those areas, and certainly feel I do have a grasp of it. If you're coaching offensive football, you better have a grasp of defensive football as well. I do plan to oversee and cross all boundaries."
Caldwell's tenure as head coach began with a day that – even aside from a two-hour introductory press conference – he described as whirlwind. He began the day with a 7:30 a.m. bible study meeting, followed by a staff meeting.
"We talked about the evaluations that we have to do with each of our players," Caldwell said. "Then I went around and I started to visit with each of our staff members. That's one of the things that I have to do, is just kind of talk with them to see that we're all on the same page and see if there are any adjustments we have to make. There are some of them that are certainly being pursued by other organizations. We hope to keep them here, but the fact of the matter is, they're good at what they do and they're going to be pursued. You want a staff that's in demand.
"The other guys, (Offensive Coordinator) Tom (Moore) and (Offensive Line Coach) Howard (Mudd), those guys are guys we'd love to keep around here. They've done an excellent job and they're really the core and the fabric of our organization. We want to try to maintain that."