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ARTICLE | O-Zone Podcast: Mike Caldwell


JACKSONVILLE – Mike Caldwell made this much clear:

His current opportunity – his first opportunity to be a defensive coordinator at the NFL level – is big. Really, really big.

"It's a chance of a lifetime," he said.

Caldwell, officially named the Jaguars' defensive coordinator last week, joined senior writer John Oehser recently for an O-Zone Podcast. He discussed that opportunity, and how he will approach his first coordinator position after 25 NFL seasons, 14 as an assistant head coach.

He, too, discussed his approach to defense and how he expects the Jaguars' defense to play:


"That's the thing," Caldwell said. "We want to go out there and we want to be aggressive. We want to play aggressive defense. We want to attack the offense and make them adjust to us. We want to understand what they're doing, go out there and fly around and make plays."

Caldwell, who spent the past three seasons as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' inside linebackers coach, also discussed coaching influences. He cited Baltimore Ravens Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, the late former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles among them.

Caldwell spent the last 10 years coaching under Bowles – including the last three for Tampa Bay and four before that when Bowles was the head coach of the New York Jets.

"He's been a great influence," Caldwell said of Bowles, widely considered one of the NFL's best and most influential defensive minds. "We saw things similarly – not always alike, but very similar: His approach to the game as far as pressure packages and just understanding that when you're on defense and you're able to dictate to offenses is always a plus.

"We were together for so long that I was able to understand the role. Now, being put into that role, I have an understanding to have a plan and be detailed about it. It goes back to teaching. I'm able to teach my coaches what I know, what I want to be able to get accomplished.

"If you communicate and get everybody on the same page, success will come."

Caldwell, who has coached for four NFL teams – the Eagles, Ravens, Arizona Cardinals and Buccaneers -- played 11 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers.

"You've been in so many locker rooms with so many different personalities that you can adjust," Caldwell said. "It goes back to teaching. When one guy sees it one way and calls it one way, when you have been on two or three different teams you can relate to that person and understand what he's thinking, that makes it easier on the transition."

To listen to the entire O-Zone Podcast with Caldwell, please click here, or watch it below.

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