Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Following in Mild-Mannered Footsteps; Rookie Coach Caldwell Has Replaced Dungy, with No Dropoff

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Following in Mild-Mannered Footsteps; Rookie Coach Caldwell Has Replaced Dungy, with No Dropoff

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO

MIAMI - Jim Caldwell needs an introduction.

Caldwell made such a seamless transition in replacing Tony Dungy as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts that Caldwell's feat of taking his team to the Super Bowl in his rookie season has been obscured.

That he could join Baltimore's Don McCafferty and San Francisco's George Seifert on Sunday as the only coaches to win a Super Bowl in their first season hasn't received much attention.

McCafferty and Seifert replaced coaching legends Don Shula and Bill Walsh, respectively, so it was obvious there was a change on the sidelines.

Because Caldwell has the same low-key demeanor that was Dungy's trademark, it's almost as if nothing has changed for the Colts.

"They're very similar," linebacker Gary Brackett said. "They're faithful Christian men who are both very mild-mannered. Caldwell is a little bit more intense than Dungy, but they're two smart men who are well received in the locker room."

On their differences, tight end Dallas Clark said, "That's a tough question to answer because they both do a very similar job, and yet they're different. It would be easier to answer if he was a guy who was a little more boisterous [than Dungy] or kind of a yelling coach.

"Both of them are great quality men, great coaches, and you just love playing for them. You just respect the heck out of them, and they expect nothing but their best. It's fun to work for a guy like that."

When Colts players are pressed to specify differences, they note that Caldwell likes power-point presentations and won't let the players eat in the meetings rooms the way Dungy did.

Caldwell knew he has big shoes to fill.

"I was following an icon, not just a coach, but a guy that transcends coaching," Caldwell said. "A global personality that has done so many great things, not only for our profession, but also for our communities in general.

"It has been a daunting task to replace, to replace him and be him. …

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