Now that the Detroit Lions have fired Jim Schwartz, the search is on for the next head coach. Since the final games of the NFL regular season have been played, there have been a number of firings across the league, so that opens up some potential candidates for the Lions job.
In addition to Schwartz, Greg Schiano from Tampa Bay, Mike Shanahan from Washington, Wade Phillips of Houston, Leslie Frazier of Minnesota, and Rob Chudzinski of Cleveland. While some of these guys might not be fits in Detroit, they are worth mentioning.
Early rumors have brought up names like Jon Gruden, Ken Whisenhunt, and Bill O’Brien.
Gruden seems unlikely, as he has said he would stay with ESPN as an analyst. Gruden has won a Super Bowl, but hasn’t coached since 2008 with the Buccaneers. His hypothetical presence in Detroit could be one that would benefit the Lions, though. He is a fiery guy that could mesh well with a team like the Lions and he knows how to handle quarterbacks. Gruden’s quarterback camp could be utilized to help the struggling Matthew Stafford correct some of his mechanical and mental errors. But that’s also unlikely, as Stafford has gone on the record to say he doesn’t want to work with a “QB guru”.
Whisenhunt seems to be a guy that is a favorite among the Lions fans I have seen on social networking sites. The current offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers also served as the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals from 2007 to 2012. In his time with the Cardinals, he helped get them headed back in the right direction. In just his second season, he led Arizona to the Super Bowl, where they would eventually fall to the Steelers. Whisenhunt has been rumored to be a target for the Houston Texans open coaching position, but nothing is solid so far.
Bill O’Brien has coaching experience in the NFL, but is currently at Penn State. As the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2012, O’Brien led a post-Sandusky/Paterno team to achieve much more than expected. He also served as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator from 2007 to 2012. O’Brien seems to be the favorite option for the Houston Texans.
Some other names that have been thrown around are Bill Cowher, David Shaw and Lovie Smith.
It’s early, but who do you want to coach the Lions come 2014? Weigh in below and feel free to add your own options if not listed.
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