The Washington Redskins are expected to interview Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell for their head coaching vacancy next week, according to the head of the group that works with the NFL to promote diversity in hiring.
John Wooten, the chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that the group also has recommended to the Redskins that they interview Cincinnati Bengals assistant coach Hue Jackson.
Wooten said he does not expect former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith to interview with the Redskins.
The Redskins are searching for a replacement for Mike Shanahan, who was fired Monday. Team officials interviewed Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on Tuesday in Seattle and are scheduled to interview Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott on Saturday in Charlotte.
Update, 3:50 p.m.
Caldwell, formerly the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, also is scheduled to interview for the Detroit Lions’ vacant coaching job. The exact timing of Caldwell’s interview with the Redskins has not been determined, according to Wooten.
“We know they’re going to bring in Jim Caldwell,” Wooten said. “I think it’s going to be next week.”
Caldwell has spent two seasons with the Ravens, first as quarterbacks coach and then as offensive coordinator, after 10 seasons with the Colts. He worked with Peyton Manning as the quarterbacks coach in Indianapolis and then succeeded Tony Dungy as the team’s head coach. The Colts had a regular season record of 26-22 under Caldwell. He went 14-2 and reached the Super Bowl in his first season but was fired after going 2-14 without Manning, who was hurt, in 2011.
Wooten said the Fritz Pollard Alliance has recommended to the Redskins that they interview Jackson but he does not know if such an interview will take place.
“We think it’s a good fit,” Wooten said.
Jackson has the titles of special assistant to the head coach and running backs coach with the Bengals. He is the former head coach of the Oakland Raiders, going 8-8 in one season in 2011. Jackson was a Redskins assistant coach between 2001 and 2003, serving as the team’s offensive coordinator for one season under Steve Spurrier. He mostly has been an offensive coach but also coached the Bengals’ secondary last season.
Under NFL rules, Jackson is not eligible to interview with the Redskins until next week because the Bengals play a first-round playoff game this weekend. Two other Bengals assistants, offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, also are potential Redskins’ candidates.
Smith is widely regarded as the leading candidate for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ coaching vacancy and he also could interview with the Lions. Wooten said he does not believe that Smith will interview with the Redskins.
“I don’t think so,” Wooten said. “I think Lovie is going to focus on some other opportunities.”
Under league rules, each team with a head coaching vacancy must interview at least one minority candidate. Caldwell, Jackson and Smith are African-American. The Fritz Pollard Alliance works closely with the league to enforce the minority interviewing rule and to make teams aware of leading minority candidates.
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.
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