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Packers interview Caldwell, Pagano for head coach job

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Dec 16, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts after failing to convert on 3rd down against the Chicago Bears during the 2nd half at Soldier Field. Reuters/Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Green Bay Packers’ head-coaching search is well underway, as the team has interviewed Jim Caldwell and Chuck Pagano for the vacancy, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

Pro Football Talk reported that the Packers interviewed Caldwell, the former head coach of the Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts, while the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the interview of Pagano, who also is a former Colts head coach.

The news marks the first reported head-coaching interviews made by any team this year.

Caldwell, who turns 64 in January, spent the 2018 season out of the NFL – serving as a consultant for the XFL – after being fired by the Lions last January. He went 36-28 with the Lions in four seasons, taking them to two playoff appearances and three winning records, including 9-7 in 2016 and 2017. Detroit has slipped to 5-10 with one game left this season.

Caldwell also went 26-22 in three years leading the Indianapolis Colts (2009-11), going 14-2 and reaching the Super Bowl in 2009. In 2012, he became the Baltimore Ravens’ interim offensive coordinator in December and promptly helped the team to a Super Bowl title, helping fuel Joe Flacco’s historic playoff run.

Pagano, 58, replaced Caldwell in Indianapolis and led the Colts from 2012-17, going 53-43 but struggling after three 11-5 seasons to open his tenure. He spent this season out of coaching, working as an NFL consultant.

The Packers are searching for a replacement for Mike McCarthy, who spent 12-plus years with the team while bringing home the Super Bowl XLV title.

Philbin, who has three-plus years of head-coaching experience with the Miami Dolphins, is expected to be considered by the team as well. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers supported Philbin’s candidacy for the job after last week’s win over the New York Jets, saying, “We want to play for Joe and give him the best opportunity possible.”

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