While all signs still point to Ken Whisenhunt to be the favorite candidate to be the Detroit Lions next head coach, they will continue to look into their other options. Next up is former Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak. Munchak was fired by the Titans last week after refused to make changes to his coaching staff.
With Whisenhunt’s Chargers still in the playoffs, he can interview for open positions but cannot commit to a team until after his current team’s season is over. Whisenhunt is expected to interview with the Lions at some point this week.
UPDATE: Gary Kubiak was also interviewed today by the Lions. Kubiak was recently fired from the Houston Texans in the middle of the season. In 13 games with the team, they finished 2-11, despite a 12-4 season a year ago. A number of injuries and a personal health problem played into the down year.
Who is Mike Munchak?
Munchak is a former Houston Oiler offensive lineman who would go on to coach in the same organization. His first job with the Oilers came in 1994, and would eventually be promoted to offensive line coach in 1997. He would remain the offensive line coach when the Oilers moved to Tennessee until Jeff Fischer’s exit in 2011.
Munchak would be name the head coach beginning in the 2011 season. His first season would turn out to be his best, as the Titans finished 9-7, but failed to make the playoffs. 6-10 and 7-9 finishes in his final two seasons would contribute to his eventual firing. The main reason he was fired was his refusal to let go of his six assistant coaches.
Will he end up in Detroit?
I wouldn’t count on it. Munchak does have head coaching experience, although it is limited. His 33-year coaching career has all been with the Titans organization. Lions’ ownership seems to prefer candidates with head coaching experience as well as one that can work with Matthew Stafford. It remains unclear if Munchak is suitable for the latter, which leads me to believe the two parties won’t end up together in the end.
I still expect Whisenhunt to get an interview and as soon as the Chargers’ season is over, he could very well be announced as Jim Schwartz’ replacement. This is just what I think, so I could very well be wrong.
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