Jaguars hire Buccaneers assistant Mike Caldwell as defensive coordinator

Doug Pederson is back in the NFL, and he’s turning to a familiar face on the defensive side of his staff.

The Jaguars have hired Tampa Bay inside linebackers coach Mike Caldwell to be their defensive coordinator, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Friday, per sources informed of the situation. The team does not plan to announce the hire until its entire staff is finalized, Garafolo added.

Caldwell and Pederson have a shared history, having played together in Philadelphia in 1999. The two later worked together with the Eagles as part of Andy Reid’s staff from 2008-2012 before the two went their separate ways.

Caldwell has a lengthy history as a defensive assistant, serving in a variety of roles with Philadelphia, Arizona, New York and Tampa Bay before reuniting with Pederson in Jacksonville. Caldwell’s first defensive coordinator job comes with a Jaguars team that finished 20th in total defense in 2021 and includes a couple of standouts in edge rusher Josh Allen and linebacker Myles Jack.

The turnaround likely won’t happen overnight in Jacksonville, but the Jaguars are following up 2021’s disappointment by replacing an inexperienced staff with one led by coaches with plenty of time served on NFL sidelines. Pederson will bring his Super Bowl-winning pedigree and a familiar face in Caldwell with him to Jacksonville.

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