Jim Caldwell says he's 'feeling great' after health scare led him to step away from Dolphins

Former Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell said he is "feeling great, actually," a little over a year after stepping away from an assistant head coaching job with the Miami Dolphins because of a health scare.

Speaking extensively and publicly for the first time Thursday night on the podcast/YouTube show "The DB Room," which is hosted by former Lions safety Glover Quin, Caldwell declined to identify the health issue, but said it did not require surgery.

"Almost back to fighting weight, you know. I feel good," Caldwell said. "I had an issue that popped up that really was something that could be corrected without surgery. Just a matter of getting a little bit more rest and watching my diet and that kind of thing and exercise, as I've always done, which you well know. I constantly exercise but the interesting thing was I had to change my diet quite a bit.

"I've been on strictly a plant-based diet for well over a year now. So I've lost, since you've seen me, I've lost 32 pounds."

ESPN's Cameron Wolfe reported in January that Caldwell would not return to the Dolphins after his season away but was ready to coach again.

Caldwell, 65, was a head coach for seven years in the NFL -- four years in Detroit and three in Indianapolis -- compiling a 62-50 record. He reached the Super Bowl in 2009 with the Colts, losing to the New Orleans Saints 31-17.

With the Lions, he made the playoffs in two of his four seasons as coach and had an over-.500 record in three of his four seasons. Caldwell, who went 36-28 from 2014-17, had the best winning percentage of any full-time Lions coach since the start of the Super Bowl era.

Caldwell said he has been exercising regularly, even during the pandemic. Caldwell, even when he was working, made sure he took care of himself with different regimens.

"It's a little different body type than the one you're used to seeing standing before you," Caldwell said. "You know what, I feel great. I feel good. I'm running. I'm biking. Doing some road cycling and doing, I usually did all the Peloton stuff but now I get on the road a little bit.

"Running two, three miles. Really feeling good, doing a little lifting and that kind of thing."