Detroit Lions: Head coaching candidates

Detroit Lions

Jim Schwartz (photo credit: AP)

As the NFL regular season came to a conclusion on Sunday, there are now only 12 teams that still have an opportunity to reach Super Bowl XLVIII. To no surprise, the Detroit Lions are not included as one of these teams and will now begin their preparation for the 2014 season.

Despite a 6-3 start to the season the Lions failed to win the NFC North; a division that was won by the Green Bay Packers with a 8-7-1 record. The Lions had countless opportunities to back their way into a playoff berth and choked their guts out in nauseating fashion, each and every time.

Detroit’s season can be defined as a team that was incapable of showing any sort of mental toughness, starting with Jim Schwartz.┬áIt has been reported that Schwartz will have a meeting with team officials on Monday morning to discuss his future with the team.

If the Lions choose to keep him around, a guy who has led this group of losers to become absolute failures this season, do not expect the team to even have a chance at making the playoffs next year. This is no longer a rebuilding process for the franchise, this is the time to compete for a championship. The first step in that process would be to fire Schwartz.

[Who should be the next coach of the Detroit Lions?]

It is clear that Matthew Stafford will be the Lions’ quarterback for the foreseeable future. In order to get the best out of his talent, Detroit needs to bring in a coach who specializes at the quarterback position.

Based on this criteria there are three candidates that stick out; Bill O’Brien, David Shaw, and Ken Whisenhunt.

O’Brien is currently Penn State’s head coach but rumors are starting to swirl that he is meeting to be the next head coach for the Houston Texans. O’Brien was a part of the New England Patriots’ coaching staff from 2007-2011.

Shaw has been the head coach at Stanford since Jim Harbaugh left the school to become coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Shaw has been mentioned as a possible candidate for head coaching position at the University of Texas but has made comments alluding to that he will not be leaving Stanford.

Whisenhunt is currently the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers and has done wonders for quarterbacks. He has head coaching experience in the NFL and is the most attainable of these three candidates.

The Lions desperately need somebody who will help evolve Stafford into an elite quarterback. The former number one pick is an extremely gifted player but his mechanics have not progressed and he has failed to become a mentally tough leader for his team.

Follow isportsweb on twitter

If the Lions fail to acquire one of these coaches they need to find somebody who is not going to accept anything less than the absolute best out of his players. Two interesting names come to mind that are high on discipline and do not already have coaching jobs: Jon Gruden and Herman Edwards.

Whether or not these guys will even be considered for the job, assuming there is one, the Lions need a leader of their style.

Detroit must end the Jim Schwartz era and move forward. The fans are not willing to deem a 7-9 team that misses the playoffs as acceptable and neither should the team’s head coach.

Read more Lions news, rumors and opinion on our Detroit Lions page


  1. Raul says

    I have been a season ticket holder for twenty plus years
    and we need Gruden or Edwards bad!! Please give us something to cheer for. I traveled from NYC to see us choke in the Monday Night game and two other road games. Detroit deserve a winner!!!!

  2. Lancescott70 says

    My dream would be for the Lions to lure Cowher back to coaching but of those available names I have heard thrown around Wisenhunt is the most interesting to me.

  3. Todd White says

    Once again the Lions seem poised to blow another opportunity with this current list of potential candidates. The only one that might be worthy is Bill O’Brien. And that is only because he seemed to take a potential train wreck (Penn State) and give them some hope. But lets be clear, this isn’t a rah rah rah college team. This is a bunch of millionaires at the bottom and an owner at the top with a steady stream of income who has zero incentive to ever make this team a winner. The only guy to go after in my mind would be Jack Del Rio, currently an assistant with the Broncos. He had a pretty good run in Jacksonville with a bunch of no-names. He has an attitude and isn’t afraid to tell a prima donna exactly how he feels about them. The current list of coaching candidates is fluff and Martin Mayhew will have to give this some serious thought if he ever expects to change the current situation.

  4. says

    Sounds like Schwartz is gone!!!
    Seems like this writer was suggesting Gruden due to his disciplined approach to coaching. To that end, I agree. I would NOT want Gruden but somebody who is high on discipline is a must. And I completely agree that somebody who can push Stafford up to where he should be performing is also critical.

  5. LionsSuck says

    John Gruden is not the answer, all you average fans keep asking for him because he is on TV but the guy has done nothing. Tony Dungy built Tampa and Gruden took the credit…the guy is no longer a viable coach and should stay on TV. Please stop saying gruden, stop saying cowher and stop saying billick because you hear them…the only TV coach worth a damn is Tony Dungy…otherwise, find someone else.

    • James says

      Gruden played his former team, the Oakland Raiders in that Super Bowl. So he can ultimately take credit for both. Shut up

  6. Mandax says

    Listening to Gruden talk on MNF makes me itch. He’s one one of the most overrated coaches still breathing and he’s probably smart enough to know it. Instead of sounding like a moron, if he coaches again, he will prove it.

  7. Cory Avid Whale-watcher Finnie says

    gruden isn’t that great of a coach .. the took over tampa after dungy built them .. check grudens record after that superbowl season .. it blows ..

    • Jordan Johnson says

      Many argue that he just led a team that Dungy built to a Super Bowl title, but don’t forget that the team he defeated in that game was an Oakland Raiders team that he built. He still won 2 division titles in 6 years in TB after the SB year. Like I said; he may not be the right guy for the job, but he is a guy that shows great love and passion for the game, which is what the Lions need

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>