Jim Caldwell is back in the NFL.
The former Colts and Lions head coach is on board the Dolphins’ staff under new coach Brian Flores. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Jan. 14 that Miami was expected to hire him and, on Friday, the team announced Caldwell will be the team’s assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach.
“Jim is an incredible human being, a man of faith and a great football coach,” Flores said in a team press release. “His experience as a head coach will be invaluable for me. Jim is a great teacher, highly organized and somebody that I have a lot of respect for.”
The Flores era officially began on Monday when he was announced as the franchise’s new coach — replacing Adam Gase, who is now leading the Jets — just a day after helping the Patriots win the Super Bowl as their defensive play-caller.
Along with Caldwell, who was only without an NFL job for one season after he was dismissed as Detroit’s head coach following the 2017 season, the rest of the Dolphins’ staff was unveiled, led by offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and special teams coordinator Danny Crossman. Just like Flores, O’Shea joined the Dolphins after lending a helpful coaching hand to the Patriots’ championship run, and Graham is likewise a branch of the Bill Belichick coaching tree.
Caldwell, who interviewed for head coaching jobs with the Jets, Browns, Packers and Cardinals, previously coached the Colts to a 14-2 record in 2009 ahead of a Super Bowl loss to the Saints. In seven seasons as a head coach (three with the Colts, four with the Lions), he produced five winning seasons, four playoff appearances and an overall 112-62 record. Now 64, he will provide much-needed experience for Flores, who is in his first post as a head coach.
O’Shea is another product of the Patriots dynasty as he was the team’s wide receivers coach from 2009 to 2018 and began his NFL career in 2003 with the Chiefs as a volunteer assistant.
“Chad is extremely smart, innovative and hard working,” Flores said. “He brings a lot of energy to practice and meetings. Chad has a great rapport with players. He has earned the trust of a lot of guys he has worked with from Randy Moss to Wes Welker to Julian Edelman. Chad has gotten the most out of his players from the 10 years I have been around him.”
From 2009 to 2015, Graham was an assistant with the Patriots before stints with the Giants and Packers.
“He’s extremely bright,” Flores said of Graham. “He is great with the fundamentals and has very strong leadership ability. I can’t say enough good things about him. We worked together in New England and I know the type of passion he has and the way he works. We have a lot of the same core values and beliefs from a defensive standpoint.”
Crossman has 16 seasons of NFL experience and was picked up from the AFC East-rival Bills after six years there.
The parade of staff announcements also included Josh Boyer, previously with the Patriots as well, as the defensive pass game coordinator/cornerbacks coach, former UCLA head coach and most recently Jets receivers coach Karl Dorrell as receivers coach, Pat Flaherty as offensive line coach, George Godsey as tight ends coach, Marion Hobby as defensive line coach, Rob Leonard with linebackers, Tony Oden as safeties coach, Jerry Schuplinksi, another Pats product, as an assistant QB coach, Eric Studesville with running backs and Josh Grizzard, Matt Lombardi and Tiquan Underwood as quality control hires.
So now, officially, the Flores era is underway.