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Jacksonville Jaguars to hire Mike Caldwell as defensive coordinator, per report

2020 East–West Shrine Game Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson has found his defensive coordinator. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Jaguars are hiring Tampa Bay Buccaneers inside linebackers coach Mike Caldwell for the role.

Caldwell does not have any previous defensive coordinator experience, however he has a strong relationship with Pederson. Caldwell and Pederson both spent time as assistant coaches under Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2009 through 2012. Additionally, Pederson and Caldwell were teammates during their NFL playing days in Philadelphia in 1999. Garafolo first reported that Caldwell was a potential target for Pederson and the Jaguars on Feb. 4.

Caldwell spent the past three seasons as inside linebackers coach for Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers (2019 through 2021). He was on staff for Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl LV victory during the 2020-2021 season. Before that, Caldwell worked under Todd Bowles (who is also currently Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator) as the assistant head coach and inside linebackers coach for the New York Jets from 2015 through 2018.

In 2013 and 2014, Caldwell was the inside linebackers coach for the Arizona Cardinals, also working under Arians during that stint. Prior to that, Caldwell got his coaching start with the Eagles from 2007 through 2012. He started in Philadelphia as a training camp intern in 2007 and then worked as a defensive quality control coach in 2008 and 2009 before moving up to an assistant linebackers coach in 2010 and getting promoted to full-time linebackers coach for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. At that same time, Pederson worked for the Eagles as an offensive quality control coach (2009 and 2010) and quarterbacks coach (2011 and 2012).

Caldwell also played 11 seasons in the NFL as linebacker. He spent time with the Cleveland Browns (1993 through 1995), Baltimore Ravens (1996), Arizona Cardinals (1997), Philadelphia Eagles 1999), Chicago Bears (2002) and Carolina Panthers (2003). According to Pro Football Reference, Caldwell played in 159 games and recorded 562 tackles, 14.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, eight interceptions and three defensive touchdowns.