Packers interview Chuck Pagano, Jim Caldwell for coaching vacancy

Tom Silverstein
Packers News
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Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell talks with Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano during practice at the NFL team's football training camp Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers have interviewed a pair of former Indianapolis Colts head coaches as part of their search for Mike McCarthy’s replacement.

Chuck Pagano and Jim Caldwell, neither employed in the NFL at this time, were two of the first interviews president/CEO Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst conducted in what is expected to be an extensive search for a new coach.

Multiple sources told the Journal Sentinel and that Pagano had been interviewed. The Journal Sentinel and confirmed ProFootballTalk’s report that Caldwell had been interviewed.

The Packers are not allowed to talk to anyone employed by an NFL team until the regular season is over and so they have been working on candidates who are out of the NFL. They are allowed to talk to college coaches, but most won’t talk to them until their bowl games are completed.

Pagano, who coached the Colts from 2012-17, has connections to several coaches on the Packers' staff. He hired interim coach Joe Philbin as assistant head coach and offensive line coach in 2016 and passing game coordinator Jim Hostler in 2015. He also worked with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine for one year in Baltimore.

Pagano went 53-43 in regular-season games and 3-3 in postseason games with the Colts. The team missed the playoffs three straight seasons and he was fired after the 2017 campaign.

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Pagano battled acute promyelocytic leukemia early in his tenure and took a leave of absence. During his absence, a movement to support him and other cancer survivors became known as “ChuckStrong.”

Caldwell, a Beloit native, has had two head coaching stints. He coached the Detroit Lions from 2014-17 and the Colts from 2009-11.

Caldwell has a lifetime regular-season record of 62-50 and is 2-4 in the postseason. Prior to being the Colts' head coach, he was Peyton Manning’s position coach for seven years.

Taking over for the retired Tony Dungy in 2011, Caldwell went 14-2 in his first season and took the Colts to the Super Bowl, where they lost to New Orleans. The following year, he went 10-6 and in his third year he was without Manning for the entire season and went 2-14.

He was fired and Pagano took over.

Caldwell spent two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with Baltimore before the Detroit Lions hired him to be their head coach in 2014. Caldwell went 36–28 in four seasons before being fired at the end of a 9-7 season.

The Lions made the playoffs twice in his four years.

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