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Lions aren’t locked on to Whisenhunt, yet

Whisenhunt Getty Images

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.

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29 Responses to “Lions aren’t locked on to Whisenhunt, yet”
  1. booby120 says: Jan 13, 2014 6:18 PM

    Per ESPN (Schefter and Mort), he’s agreed with the titans.

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 13, 2014 6:19 PM

    Thanks for the update. I just hope the Lions get somebody that knows how to get the most out of Stafford. We still need a new Defensive wizard too, so that’s going to have to be one really amazing coach, or a pair of them at least.

  3. 100uv says: Jan 13, 2014 6:20 PM

    Titans will get whisenhunt.

  4. pointywilliams says: Jan 13, 2014 6:22 PM

    By listening to Detroit sports radio, you would think that he was either going to win the Super Bowl or why is this guy even coaching lol.

  5. lilpuppy says: Jan 13, 2014 6:23 PM

    he just signed in Tenn. we can’t even attract a retread coach..up next another unproven co-ordinator

  6. ravenswhat says: Jan 13, 2014 6:25 PM

    I can only assume that means locker is done because wis wanted a blank canvas.

  7. realnflmaster says: Jan 13, 2014 6:27 PM

    Caldwell is the favourite for the Detroit job now too per ESPN.

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!! Good luck with that Detroit!

  8. sd5547 says: Jan 13, 2014 6:27 PM

    They crossed him off the list after watching that game plan he constructed to beat Peyton Manning. Run your backup 5-6 175 pound running up the middle on first and second down and set up 3rd and 8 all day long for your Probowl QB on the road in a hostile environment. Who the hell wants that?

  9. bennyb82 says: Jan 13, 2014 6:28 PM

    Someone needs to come in and tell the players to keep it simple. The idea is to score more points than the other team. Yardage means nothing if you don’t score. Having a perfectly called 10 play 90 yard drive that results in a field goal is still less than a 2 play 70 yard drive that gets a TD. You have MEGATRON. You are cheating your own team if you do not throw to him at least once per drive. And deep at least a few times a game.

  10. lionsfan2014 says: Jan 13, 2014 6:29 PM

    To me this is a very stupid rule…”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”

  11. johnnyb216 says: Jan 13, 2014 6:30 PM

    Looks like they waited too long…

  12. russellwilsonismymvp says: Jan 13, 2014 6:35 PM

    Don’t hire Quinn. I think I can speak for all Seattle fans when I say he has been an outstanding defensive coordinator. We want to keep him.

  13. hurricanegrabowski says: Jan 13, 2014 6:45 PM

    So this information came out presumably after Whisenhunt agreed with the Titans. So someone in the Lions org. is trying to save face. Hard to save something you didn’t have in the first place. A solid coach with options simply won’t go to Detroit, they may have some talent, but that talent comes with baggage, and the rest of the organization is crap. The Lions ultimately will hire a guy who isn’t getting any other serious interest around the league.

  14. natijim235 says: Jan 13, 2014 6:51 PM

    wtf – thought he was a lock in detroit

  15. thebirdofprey2 says: Jan 13, 2014 6:52 PM

    Quinn is the best fit for Seattle. Love the way he calls games.

    Bevell on the other hand, most Hawk fans (myself included) would raise funds to get Detriot to take him.

  16. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 13, 2014 7:09 PM

    The Lions are going to hire Caldwell and call it a day. We can all smell it in the air.

  17. dapell says: Jan 13, 2014 7:12 PM

    Just the LOLions being the lions. Wait around for a guy who was just using them for leverage to drive up his asking price somewhere else. Now we don’t even get the best of the retread coordinators left. Does the Ford family have even a bit of pride in their name or team? Sure doesn’t look like it. Yet another coaching search bungled.

  18. aldante66 says: Jan 13, 2014 7:37 PM

    Either they made him an offer he could refuse or he looked around and said no to Detroit. Wow live in Detroit or Tennessee, that’s a tough one.

  19. 1rockyracoon says: Jan 13, 2014 7:43 PM

    Just imagine who the Browns will end up with.

  20. fugginswheat says: Jan 13, 2014 7:48 PM

    “I’d Love to coach the Lions!”….. said no one ever!

  21. bandzz says: Jan 13, 2014 8:33 PM

    But I thought this team was the most coveted team to coach…

  22. johnnyjagfan says: Jan 13, 2014 9:09 PM

    Detroit! How’d you eff this up? Let this guy off the hook! Now he’s gonna make life miserable for the Jags. We’ll win–we crushed him coaching Pittsburgh–but Detroit should have landed this guy.

  23. GenXJay says: Jan 13, 2014 9:10 PM

    I’m posting this Whisenhunt/Titans agreement.
    Titans blow.

  24. imjinrat says: Jan 13, 2014 10:08 PM

    After 50 years of abysmal failure it’s got to be hard to pull the trigger.

  25. thetruthcampaign says: Jan 13, 2014 11:01 PM

    Someone says “good luck” with Caldwell. Is it luck that he’s brought two Super Bowl champs since 2007? Dungy, a Detroit guy, likes him. I’m fine with him.

  26. mikelitoris1 says: Jan 14, 2014 12:35 AM

    “Somehow I’m still available *long drawn out evil laugh*”

    – Matt Millen

  27. coosmac says: Jan 14, 2014 2:05 AM

    there is a reason why Barry Sander just quit……………………………………………………………………………………………..owner

  28. Ed Bandell says: Jan 14, 2014 5:40 AM

    Jim Caldwell was also a former head coach in Indy after Dungy retired. Had two good years with Peyton and then an abysmal one without him and the Colts decided to hire Ravens former DC Chuck Pagano. After a 2-14 in the previous season under Caldwell, the Colts have gone back to back 11-5 seasons.

    Meanwhile in Baltimore Caldwell was brought in to be a QB coach for Joe Flacco. Seemed to work out well and soon enough he was promoted to OC and the Ravens won a SB essentially because of a red hot Joe Flacco.

    Enter season two. Sure the defense lost Lewis and Reed, and the offense lost Boldin and then Pitta due to injuries, but this was a VERY underwhelming 8-8 season that could have been much worse.

    The insanity of it? You have Vontae Leach, perhaps one of the best blocking fullbacks in the game right now. You have a struggling offensive line and at the same time you phase out Leach for a one back set? Ray Rice and Pierce couldn’t run at all. The second part of the insanity is that they didn’t run twin TE formations much because Ed Dickson can’t block with a lick, and they brought in Dallas Clarke as well who also can’t block. Why bother running Twin TE? You’d think it would make sense to go more pro-style with 2WR, 1TE, 1RB, 1FB. Sure it is conventional and not very pretty, but when you are missing a lot of key pieces, keeping it simple can work if you execute. The offense was all kinds of a hot mess this year.

    They were trying a zone run blocking scheme with guys not able to run it. Pass blocking was terrible and yet the team didn’t stick to shot gun or make any quick hitch adjustments all season long. Flacco was getting killed all season long.

    So, you think Caldwell can come in and straighten out the mess that already is the Lions offense…and somehow get a defense working too? Better have a really strong DC in house.

  29. Ed Bandell says: Jan 14, 2014 6:02 PM

    Looks like the Lions indeed think Caldwell is the man and he’s bringing another Ravens coach with him, Teryl Austin as DC.

    Austin was our secondary coach and I think he’s done a pretty good job. Jimmy Smith has made amazing strides since looking like a first round bust for his first few seasons in the league, he’s been able to make great players out of other teams’ casts offs like Corey Graham, and made James Ihedigbo a rich man since he’s probably going to become a free agent. The secondary has held up well especially when you consider the inability of the Ravens D-Line to create pressure for most of the season.

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