Jim Caldwell is a former quarterbacks coach with Big Ten ties and a reputation for stoic leadership. From that standpoint, he sounds like someone Ohio State fans should be familiar with. He sounds like Jim Tressel.
Their playbooks might be different, but at least one member of the Detroit Lions doesn’t think that even matters much.
“They’re very similar in that they don’t coach X’s and O’s as much as they coach the civility in a man and the character in a man,” Rob Sims told the Detroit Free Press.
Sims should know. He was a member of the Buckeyes 2002 National Championship team. (You can read more about what Sims sees as the similarities between Caldwell and Tressel here.)
Bottom line, though? Caldwell’s philosophy is so similar to Tressel’s that Caldwell hired Tressel as a replay assistant in 2011, when Caldwell was head coach of the Colts. Given the debate over whether Tressel’s coaching style would work in the NFL, it might be worth keeping an eye on how Caldwell fares now that he’s in Detroit.*
But given Tressel’s success whenever he went to the state up north, would you bet against him?
*It would be really hard to answer that question based on Caldwell’s tenture in Indianapolis. He both went to the Super Bowl (inheriting a beneficial situation from Tony Dungy) and went 2-14 (with Peyton Manning sidelined due to a neck injury).