Lions to interview Jim Caldwell for job

The first formal candidate for the vacant Detroit Lions head coaching job has an interview set up.

ESPN Insider Adam Schefter reported Thursday that Baltimore offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell will interview with the team Friday, the first known interview the Lions will have conducted in the search.

It will be the second interview for Caldwell this week, as Schefter reported he met with Washington on Wednesday.

The Lions are able to talk with Caldwell now because the Ravens did not qualify for the playoffs. Other potential candidates, including San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, won't be available to interview until after the playoff games this weekend.

As for Caldwell, he fits a lot of the criteria the Lions are looking for in a coach. He has previous head coaching experience, having led Indianapolis to a 26-22 record in his three seasons there, including an appearance in Super Bowl XLIV. He also was the head coach at Wake Forest for eight seasons.

He took over for Cam Cameron as Baltimore's offensive coordinator in Dec. 2012 and helped the Ravens to the Super Bowl title last season.

Interviewing Caldwell would also fulfill the Lions' Rooney Rule requirement, but on paper, Caldwell at least appears to be a lot of what the Lions are looking for in legitimate candidates.

This is after two other potential Detroit candidates, Bill O'Brien and Lovie Smith, took jobs with Houston and Tampa Bay, respectively.