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Caldwell recalled crafting a plan to become a head coach early in his career three-plus decades ago.

“I really thought that in order for me to make certain that I was in position to get one of those jobs, I had to be knowledgeable on both sides of the ball,” he said.

The former Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back figured he needed to become an assistant coach on offense to become a well-rounded candidate to lead a team.

When ex-Colorado coach Bill McCartney offered him a chance to coach outside linebackers in 1982, he accepted it on the condition he move to the other side of the ball when there was an opening. He later coached the Buffaloes’ wide receivers and QBs.

Caldwell’s first job as a head coach was at Wake Forest, which fired him in 2000 with a 26-63 record over eight seasons.

Dungy hired him in 2001 to coach Tampa Bay’s QBs and took him with him the next year to Indianapolis for the same job.

Stafford is a lot like Peyton was early in his career, making a lot of explosive plays and some mistakes,” Dungy said Tuesday night in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “Jim was able to get through to Peyton to teach him that he could still make explosive plays without taking so many risks. And, he’ll help Stafford do that.”

Caldwell helped the Colts reach the Super Bowl after his debut season in 2009. He was fired two years later after a 2-14 season while Manning was injured, dropping his three-year mark to 26-22.

Caldwell was hired by Baltimore two years ago to be their QBs coach and was promoted to offensive coordinator late in the 2012 season, helping the Ravens win last year’s Super Bowl.

Despite leading an offense that was coming off a shaky season, Caldwell was also interviewed for openings with the Washington Redskins and Titans.

Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said Caldwell deserved another shot to lead a team in the league.

Jim is a teacher, he is honorable, he is a respected leader, and every person with the Ravens will miss him,” Harbaugh said. “Players and assistants respond to him. You understand why he was named Detroit’s head coach and why all the other teams had him among the finalists.”

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Online:

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

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