Barry Sanders is involved in the Lions coaching search, Chris Spielman is running it

USA TODAY Sports

Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders never had much to say during his playing career. On Wednesday, he was talking a Honolulu Blue streak, Jack, on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Sanders said that he’s involved in the search process, and that new Lions front-office employee Chris Spielman is “kind of heading the search.”

Sanders made it clear that Spielman is casting a wide net as he searches for the team’s next coach.

“From what I understand, there’s definitely some college coaches involved in our process of who Chris is actually looking at,” Sanders said. “You know, so he’s taking a good look at both. And so to answer your question, there’s some great college coaches out there that could step in and do the job, and obviously there’s some offensive and defensive coordinators in the league as well that are being looked at, so that’s kind of how we’re looking at it.”

Sanders advocates not ruling out a college coach, given the current similarities between the two levels of the sport.

Known candidates include Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, interim head coach Darell Bevell, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, and Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell. If college coaches are talking to the Lions, their names haven’t emerged yet.

The Lions are also looking for a General Manager. Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes has had a second interview for the job.

The new coach and G.M. necessarily will have to navigate a front office that includes Spielman and team president Rod Wood, a dynamic that necessarily dilutes the pipeline to ownership — and that forces the coach and the G.M. to consider extraneous factors related to the interactions, agendas, and influences of Spielman and/or Wood on Sheila Ford Hamp.

16 responses to “Barry Sanders is involved in the Lions coaching search, Chris Spielman is running it

  1. He was the most exciting RB in NFL’s history. What he brings to the table for a coach search is unknown.

  2. I like the words coming out of the organisation mainly since Sheila took over but especially since making the very astute move bring in not only football guys but guys familiar with the organisation in Barry and Chris.

    Yes it seems like Detroit are going through a big list and taking forever but better that than rushing into a fools gold ( assuming they would be good because they were ex Patriots ) situation like they did with Quinn and Patricia

  3. Every bit of help is appreciated! I’ll go back to waiting for my phone to ring.

  4. Not a Lions fan. Barry is the best RB I’ve ever seen. Caveat: I saw Payton’s career but not Jim Brown’s.

  5. bloodonhishands says:
    January 13, 2021 at 8:29 pm
    Has anyone considered having a GM involved or leading the HC search?
    _____________________________________________________________________

    don’t have one yet and got to get a head start and until we do I can trust Spielman’s judgement

  6. Rodgers runs GB, Watson runs Houston, may as well let Sam Darnold pick his management in NY.

  7. Sometimes teams hire a coach and let him pick the GM he wants to work with. So it’s not always hire a GM first, coach second. I think what Spielman is trying to do right now is find guys with the same intensity and hunger that he has. It sounds like a great idea, but we won’t know the results until the team plays next fall under the new GM and coach. I don’t think the usual years of failure will be tolerated this time. But we’ll see.

  8. Having Sanders pick your HC is definitely a litter better than having a homeless guy makie your 1st round draft pick, but the good teams will rely on their GM to make these decisions.

  9. Having Sanders pick your HC is definitely a little better than having a homeless guy makie your 1st round draft pick, but the good teams will rely on their GM to make these decisions.

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