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There is a passage in the Bible that Jim Caldwell has identified with in recent weeks.
In the book of Luke, Jesus sends his apostles out to preach in surrounding towns, leaving them with some guidance before they go.
If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them. (Luke 9: 3-5)
Caldwell is taking that message to heart.
“I’m shaking the dust off my sandals and I’m moving,” Caldwell said with a laugh.
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The former Indianapolis Colts head coach is transitioning into his role as the Ravens new quarterbacks coach, adjusting to a new team, city and scheme for the first time in more than a decade.
It’s an opportunity Caldwell insists he is thrilled to have.
“I am tickled to death,” Caldwell said, “just to have an opportunity to see how things are done here in a great organization with outstanding coaches and obviously great players that have certainly been one of the paragons of this league.”
Caldwell spent the last 10 seasons with the Colts – seven as quarterbacks coach, three as head coach – but he was fired this offseason as part of a house-cleaning by Owner Jim Irsay following a 2-14 campaign.
During his time in Indianapolis, the Colts went to the playoffs in nine straight seasons, won the Super Bowl in 2006 and quarterback Peyton Manning won four NFL Most Valuable Player awards.
A result of having so much success was that Caldwell was ingrained in the same system year after year, and now he’s looking forward to adapting to a different approach.
“We were fortunate enough and blessed enough to have won quite a few games, so there wasn’t a change in systems. We didn’t go anywhere else. We were there, within that structure,” Caldwell said. “I’m enjoying every single minute that I’m sitting in this office because I get to study football, watch film and go through playbooks and see how we do things a little bit differently.”
The move to Baltimore entails working with another franchise quarterback: 27-year-old Joe Flacco. He has taken the Ravens to the playoff in each of his first four seasons in the NFL, and having the chance to work with Flacco was an attractive opportunity for Caldwell.
“For me, it was a great fit,” Caldwell said. “Obviously it’s an exemplary organization, from ownership, to personnel office, to coaching, to players, all across the board. Then also, I’m always looking for a [new] challenge.”
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh thought Caldwell was a perfect match for what the Ravens wanted.
“It’s a perfect fit as we go forward,” Harbaugh said at the Ravens end-of-season press conference on Feb. 1. “It’s going to be the best thing for everybody, offensively, and just for the growth of our offense.”
The Ravens didn’t have a quarterbacks coach last season, as Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron absorbed those duties following Jim Zorn’s one-year stint at the post.
With Caldwell now taking over the job, it’s a setup he and the Ravens think will work well.
“It is a new start,” Caldwell said. “Obviously we had some great years [in Indianapolis]. No bones about it. We enjoyed our time there as well, but it’s a new era.”