It may be premature to talk about the next head coach of the Detroit Lions, considering that the current head coach, Jim Schwartz, has not been fired. But with Schwartz widely regarded to be on the firing line after Detroit’s meltdown over the last six weeks, one name is emerging as an early favorite to succeed Schwartz: Ken Whisenhunt.
Both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press have stories today suggesting not only that Whisenhunt could be the next coach, but even that the Lions may have already reached out to Whisenhunt, the former Cardinals head coach and current Chargers offensive coordinator.
Whisenhunt would make sense on a lot of levels: He’s well regarded as a coach who can get the most out of his passing offense, which the Lions need, considering that Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson will take up a huge portion of their salary cap for years to come. He’s an experienced NFL head coach who took the Cardinals to their first Super Bowl, so perhaps he could take the Lions to their first Super Bowl, too. And he was a teammate of Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew for two seasons in Washington, so there may be a level of familiarity there.
The Texans are also believed to be interested in interviewing Whisenhunt for their head-coaching vacancy, and as more jobs open up, Whisenhunt may have multiple offers. He’s going to be one of the hottest candidates when the NFL coaching feeding frenzy begins in six days.