Many believe that the Detroit Lions are simply waiting to hire Ken Whisenhunt as their next head coach. They believe that for two reasons.
First, multiple reports have pointed in that direction. Second, the Lions have said nothing publicly or privately to counter it.
Basically, the Lions have said nothing.
But we’ve managed to finagle a sliver of information. And the information we’ve finagled is that no one should assume that the Lions will simply be hiring Whisenhunt.
It doesn’t mean Whisenhunt has been eliminated. But he also hasn’t been selected. Yet.
To date, the Lions have interviewed Whisenhunt, Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, former Titans coach Mike Munchak, and former Texans coach Gary Kubiak. The common thread is that each guy has been a head coach at the NFL level.
As we understand it, however, that’s not a mandatory requirement. The Lions have interest in men who haven’t been head coaches — including Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
Yes, even though the Lions didn’t interview Quinn during the initial bye-week window for doing so, the Lions may decide to wait for Quinn to finish his season before interviewing him, which may take three weeks. (Like the Titans, the Lions can’t conduct a pre-Super Bowl interview of Quinn because Quinn wasn’t interviewed by the Lions during the bye week after the regular season).
The overriding goal, whether it’s Whisenhunt or Quinn or someone else, will be to find a head coach who can step in and take control of a talented team that needs to have that talent maximized. The Lions seem to be committed to finding the right guy — and to not saying much if anything about it.
UPDATE 6:14 p.m. ET: And now Whisenhunt is definitely off the list in Detroit. Per ESPN, he will become the next coach of the Titans.