Jim Caldwell introduced as Detroit Lions new head coach - FOX 35 News Orlando

Jim Caldwell introduced as Detroit Lions new head coach

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Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew (L), Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell (M), Lions President Tom Lewand (R) Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew (L), Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell (M), Lions President Tom Lewand (R)
Speaking at the news conference at Ford Field Wednesday afternoon Speaking at the news conference at Ford Field Wednesday afternoon
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The Detroit Lions officially introduced Jim Caldwell as the franchise's new head coach. The announcement happened Wednesday afternoon during a news conference at Ford Field. 

The Detroit Lions also posted a message from Caldwell to Lions fans, in which he says he is looking forward to the "opportunity to certainly give [fans] the opportunity to see what product we're going to be able put on the field. I think you're going to enjoy seeing a very, very intense, smart, fast, physical football team."

Caldwell becomes the 26th head coach in franchise. He landed in Detroit Wednesday and was greeted by Lions general manager Martin Mayhew (see video above).

VIDEO: Click the video player to hear the Round Table discuss the Lions hire


The Lions hired Caldwell on Tuesday to replace fired coach Jim Schwartz, ending a search that included a phone conversation between Mayhew and Tony Dungy.

"Martin called me and said we're looking for a leader who can help turn our locker room into a winning one and to help us get the most out of our investment in Matthew Stafford," Dungy recalled in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "I told Martin that Jim Caldwell is exactly what you're looking for. He'll lead by making people accountable and by being a role model on and off the field. And with his attention to detail and history of developing quarterbacks, Stafford is going to flourish just like Peyton Manning did with us in Indianapolis."

Detroit wanted to replace Schwartz with someone with experience as a head coach, ideally with a track record of tutoring quarterbacks.

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

He becomes the second minority candidate to land a head coaching job this month, joining Lovie Smith, who took the head coach position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt was widely believed to be the Lions top choice of remaining available candidates to replace Jim Schwartz.  The Lions had a plane ready to fly to San Diego Monday, but Whisenhunt spurned their offer, and took the head coach position with the Tennessee Titans.

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