Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions Head Coach options, realistic and long shots


Jim Schwartz still has a job, he is still the head coach in Detroit, however the writing seems to be on the wall. With that being said, there are rumors flying around about every name under the sun, as usual for this time of year for any team looking to make a change.

Here we can break down the realistic candidates to fill the void, and we will also look at some long shots.


Ken Wisenhunt: Ken has done a great job as offensive coordinator in San Diego, and being that Detroit’s offense has so much talent and seems to fall flat all too frequently, that could be just what the doctor ordered. Plus let’s not forget about the Super Bowl appearance he coached the Arizona Cardinals to in 2009. The same team that he coached in Arizona that played at Super Bowl XLIII had a lot of talent, but the Detroit Lions team of right now is not only much younger than that [Cardinals] team, but they do have more raw talent.

Gary Kubiak: He had a great run in Houston while he was there. Unfortunately for Gary, the wheels on the bus stopped going “round and round” this season which resulted in him ultimately losing his job. Kubiak suffered a minor stroke during the season as he was leaving the field during halftime of a Sunday night game where Houston was hosting the Indianapolis Colts. He returned with his health restored, but the injury plagued Houston Texans still couldn’t find a way to win games, thus a change needed to be made and it started at the top.

Lovie Smith: While Lovie was a bitter rival of a coach being in Chicago, he was still a successful coach. Much like Ken Wisenhunt, he coached a team to the Super Bowl [XLI] and also fell short. Lovie is a defensive minded coach who likes to run the “Tampa 2″ defense which might not work in Detroit, but let’s look at some different things with Smith as a head coach for the Lions. The Lions have a better defensive roster than the Chicago Bears did in 2007 in their Super Bowl appearance. The offense? Well, Rex Grossman at quarterback, Thomas Jones at the running back position, and Bernard Berrian and Mushin Muhammad at the receiving spots. Do I really need to get into detail about how much better this Lions offense is? Lovie Smith, just like pretty much any available coach, has interviewed with the Houston Texans already as well.

Bill O’Brien: Currently Bill has an interview with the Houston Texans lined up, as of a few days ago, a source with the Lions said they reached out to Bill to try and get an interview as well. O’Brien is proven as a good offensive coordinator as his last year in New England [with the Patriots] they were the second ranked offense in the NFL, behind only the New Orleans Saints. During their bye week he interviewed with Penn State and agreed to sign a four year contract to become their head coach. We all know the stories about Penn State and what happened up there, ultimately what that meant for Bill was, a much harder task at hand because they lost a few starters and some of their bench players. During his time he has earned a 15-9 record, which sparks interest from quite a few teams in the NFL considering the level of talent he had to start with.


Bill Cowher: As recent as October Cowher said “never say never” with the fear of being considered a hypocrite for saying “never” and actually coming back to the sideline. Bill sends mixed signals every time he is asked this question, however I strongly believe that he would be considered for that of a General Manager role with a team is more likely to happen. If the time is right and the Detroit Lions position is open, I guess we can never say never.

Jon Gruden: The most realistic option of these “long shots” for head coaches as he seems to most open to returning to the field, and strapping on the headset. Gruden is a very big fan of the Detroit Lions defensive line, Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush and of course, Megatron. Now, being a fan of players and wanting to coach their team are two completely different things, however, did anyone notice that there was much more intrigue in his interviews during his time in Detroit for the Monday Night showdown against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens? Granted, the largest rumor surrounding Jon Gruden would be the opening at the University of Texas, and now even heading back to Oakland as he is “intrigued” by the job as reported by Jason La Canfora over at CBS Sports.

Tony Dungy: It’s a safe assumption that he will not be coming to the helm in Detroit, or any team for that matter. Tony was recently asked directly by a fan on Twitter that if the Lions job were to open, would he come home and coach them? Straight and to the point Dungy replied, “No, I am done coaching!” A source close to the Detroit Lions said that they have indeed sent out feelers to Tony, but take that with a grain of salt.

About Danny Bennett

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  1. Myri A Roberts

    December 28, 2013 at 12:39 am

    Ford sr…lmao

  2. Keith Lego

    December 28, 2013 at 12:39 am

    gruden or bust.

  3. JohnnyNamy Roselle

    December 28, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Fire ford sr.

  4. Ken Baum

    December 28, 2013 at 12:42 am

    No way i want lovie coming to detroit. Wisenhunt would be a great fit here.

  5. James Brett Southard

    December 28, 2013 at 12:44 am

    are you talking about the comment where 90% of the posters keep bringing up names that aren’t on the list? I don’t care if Schwartz stays, but they have to get rid of linehan if that is the case. also, they need a good QB coach. Stafford is the worst most talented QB in the league. Guy is a terrible game manager.

  6. Ian Schellenberg

    December 28, 2013 at 12:45 am

    The OC of the SF Niners would make a great head coach.

  7. Ken Baum

    December 28, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Whoever is the coach next year has to get Stafford’s footwork under control that really is his biggest problem.

  8. Matt Bush

    December 28, 2013 at 12:45 am

    How about Jay Gruden… O Coordinator in Cincinnati… He’s been dealing with a mediocre QB and beast receiver for a few years and is the 3 seed in the AFC… Right family, wrong coach

  9. James Brett Southard

    December 28, 2013 at 12:46 am

    that would be great if possible give reins to the boy.

  10. Ken Baum

    December 28, 2013 at 12:46 am

    that wouldnt be a bad choice either

  11. Jason Bayer

    December 28, 2013 at 12:47 am

    First we have see if shcwartz is gettin fired

  12. Alex Cunningham

    December 28, 2013 at 12:47 am

    Peter King from Sport’s Illustrated they said that Jim Schwart would be fired on Monday that’s when you should get lovey Smith for the job

  13. James Brett Southard

    December 28, 2013 at 12:47 am

    his mechanics in general are brutal. but he also makes some of the worst decisions ever.

  14. James Brett Southard

    December 28, 2013 at 12:47 am

    and despite that he still is a pretty solid QB. He could be one of the greats if someone fixed him up a little.

  15. Gary K Longenecker

    December 28, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Wish Ford would sell!! He has turned down everyone who has ever tried!!

  16. Steve Golac

    December 28, 2013 at 12:50 am

    Billick, Whisenhunt, O’Brien, in that order. Dungy & Gruden are unrealistic.

  17. Gary K Longenecker

    December 28, 2013 at 12:50 am

    His footwork yes, and that would hopefully help his accuracy!!

  18. Gordon Deprest

    December 28, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Jim Schwartz for Head Coach, oh wait, he already is…..their is nobody out there who wants this position with this club that would do any better. Face the facts.

  19. Jake Cullinan

    December 28, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Dream scenario for me: HC O’Brien OC: Shannahan DC: Kubiak

  20. Jerald W Hollenback Jr.

    December 28, 2013 at 12:53 am

    Don’t want lovie by no means rather whisenhut anyday.

  21. Michael Combs

    December 28, 2013 at 12:53 am

    He will be fired tho bud… I’m sorry if u can’t win the league with Aaron Rogers out 9 games and cutler half the season an both bay an chi town 500 then he never will so yes jim is a goner and needs to be… He makes horrible coaching decisions plain an simple

  22. Michael Combs

    December 28, 2013 at 12:54 am

    To Gordon deprest

  23. James Brett Southard

    December 28, 2013 at 12:55 am

    ya it would. he is absolutely terrible at throwing on the move. he is constantly dropping to a side arm and throwing in a weird mid-step. he short arms throws a lot in the pocket. it is just frustrating, because every so often he shows us how good he can be if he could just be consistent.

  24. James Brett Southard

    December 28, 2013 at 1:01 am

    if the lions had tom brady or peyton manning at the helm they would have locked up the division 5 weeks ago.

  25. DavidFolk

    December 28, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Kubiak is offensive not defensive

  26. DavidFolk

    December 28, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Schwartz sucks bad  there are tons of better coaches

  27. Gary K Longenecker

    December 28, 2013 at 1:10 am


  28. John Hund

    December 28, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Lovie Smith or Mike Singlarity…

  29. David Folk

    December 28, 2013 at 1:12 am

    cant fix decision making tho and Stafford is terrible atit

  30. David Folk

    December 28, 2013 at 1:12 am

    Kubiak is an offensive coach not a defensive one

  31. Victoria Butchko

    December 28, 2013 at 1:13 am

    I am upset with the Lions. Go Broncos!!

  32. David Folk

    December 28, 2013 at 1:13 am

    Schwartz sucks, tons of coaches that are better

  33. David Folk

    December 28, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Stafford is no great QB he had a Scott Mitchell career year 2 years ago, he will never come close to that again

  34. Gordon Deprest

    December 28, 2013 at 1:16 am

    one’s that want that job ?

  35. Corey Semrow

    December 28, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Discipline is the biggest problem. Need a veteran coach who will hold people accountable. The talent is there. Just needs to be controlled. ..

  36. Al Detloff

    December 28, 2013 at 1:28 am

    Who cares about rumors! Get some brains to mange all the talent we have!

  37. Lee Anthony Martinez

    December 28, 2013 at 1:53 am

    Mike Zimmer defensive coordinator in cincy would be a good coach!! Look what he has done with that defense in cincy!!

  38. Alec Blake Petrelak

    December 28, 2013 at 2:10 am

    You can’t fix decision making? So all the criminals and drug addicts that have been rehabilitated and live clean lives just got better at hiding their crap instead of consciously choosing to make the decision to not do those things anymore?

  39. Bryan Howard

    December 28, 2013 at 2:22 am

    Give Tony Dungy Jon Gruden’s Super Bowl ring that he really should have from Tampa Bay and then bring “TD”
    to the Detroit Lions to coach!

  40. Eric Cybulski

    December 28, 2013 at 2:34 am

    lovie is a joke typical lions pick.Matter of fact all the names they want are all has beens. Thats what they will hire a has been you watch.Gruden is the only one of the names I heard would be good.They need to go out and get a big college coach.Someone who hasnt been canned by another team.They wont ford sucks as owner and we have never had a good gm.Face it as long as ford owns the team we will never see a winner in detroit.Like the pistons no real coach in last how many years cheeks is a has been.Typical of mediocre owners to hire cheap has beens.Detroit football is a joke they should sell the team and move it to a city where they can get ownership that cares about its fans.We have been ignored for over 30 years and people keep supporting them why?The lions are the laughing stock of football and always will be.Someone explain to me how I am wrong.You watch with the mediocre hire they will make.They eill probobly bring matt millen owners.

  41. Eric Cybulski

    December 28, 2013 at 2:36 am

    Lions are the joke of all pro sports its sickening to watch anymore….

  42. Rob Perry

    December 28, 2013 at 2:38 am

    If they do defensive give me Mike Zimmer if they go offense il take Wisenhunt…

  43. Chuck Nevin

    December 28, 2013 at 3:16 am

    Gruden or Dungy! There’s a Coach in East Lansing that should at least get a phone call, but I like him where he’s at. Lions need to draft Dennard though…………..

  44. JoshuaMilonoff

    December 28, 2013 at 4:09 am

    Dennard?? Umm he got drafted last year. Day late and a dollar short my friend. Lmao

  45. stiffler0022

    December 28, 2013 at 4:39 am

    He means darquez Denard genius…..for the spartans

  46. Chad Garrison

    December 28, 2013 at 4:53 am

    Get Gruden and have him snag his brother from Cinci to be our OC !

  47. Scott Proffitt

    December 28, 2013 at 5:07 am

    You’ll won’t be a head coach ever again in this league once you coach Detroit you’re done for

  48. Susan Brooks

    December 28, 2013 at 5:19 am

    start at the top ..

  49. Bart Gallinger

    December 28, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Gruden all the way baby!

  50. Bart Gallinger

    December 28, 2013 at 6:44 am

    The lions are use to a long shot, go for Gruden!

  51. Jesse Cahill

    December 28, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Lions should have dumped the anchor, I mean Stafford as soon as they introduced the rookie wage scale. Any avg qb could run this team

  52. Bryan Howard

    December 28, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Gruden can not I repeat can not coach! All Gruden’s accolades derived from the man who can coach and set Tampa Bay up for that Super Bowl title; his name is Tony Dungy! #REALTALK

  53. Rose Benrowsky-Hansen

    December 28, 2013 at 7:40 am

    About Time

  54. Brian MacDonald

    December 28, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Matt D Smith

  55. Adam Decker

    December 28, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Did I miss something? Did they fire Swartz?

  56. Andrew Walden

    December 28, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Yes the Lions can be considered the punchline of the NFL but its the fans that support our team that makes us stand out. If u ever went to any Detroit sports game you’d realize that its about pride. I’ve Ben a loyal fan since Wayne Fontes and Barry Sanders. Detroit is considered the best sports city in the country why? Because of it’s loyalty to their teams. I’ve watched the Lions go 0-16 and still wore my Lions gear proudly as others laugh. I’ve never jumped the bandwagon and never will. Gruden or Lovie would be a good pick!

  57. Marc Liedel

    December 28, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Jimmy Johnson

  58. AbeeASobh

    December 28, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Bill O’Brien from Penn State as coach!!

  59. DakotahKintigh

    December 28, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I want Lovie Smith. Hire Rex Ryan as the Defensive Coordinator, and bring in a offensive mastermind for the OC. We also need to bring in a really good QB coach.

  60. Michael R Mackey

    December 28, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Won’t matter… Detroit Kitty Kats are losers! No heart!

  61. Bruce Boerkoel

    December 28, 2013 at 8:49 am

    the lions problems start & end with the man in charge of hiring & firing … until he is vacated, the lions will continue to plunder along …

  62. Detroit Gary

    December 28, 2013 at 8:55 am

    What abt coward? Err I mean cowar

  63. Brian McFee

    December 28, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Everyone is a expert

  64. Martin Reister

    December 28, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Money talks, enough of it would convince Gruden. He can see the talent and potential so just pony up the cash Fords.

  65. Ronald Davis

    December 28, 2013 at 9:19 am

    IT’S THE OWNER! He’s built a losing culture while pocketing millions. Unfortunately the culture trumps the talent. Nothing will change while he’s the owner.

  66. Matt Coccia

    December 28, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Join the club, Detroit. Here in western NY the Bills will miss the playoffs for the 14th year. I feel your pain.

  67. Joe Babcock

    December 28, 2013 at 9:44 am

    More importantly, how about trading a 2nd round pick for Larry Fitzgerald? (pipe dreaming) :)

  68. Joe Babcock

    December 28, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Matt Coccia, your Bills team went to the SB for 4 years in a row. You definitely don’t feel our pain. lol
    Thanks for the empathy though.

  69. James Taylor

    December 28, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Only a spartan fan would think their coach deserves a chance….lol #HellNo!!! Lovie Smith yes. Gruden needs to stay where he’s at!

  70. John Carr

    December 28, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Brian Billick

  71. Corey Schrenk

    December 28, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Jim Tressel

  72. Nate Manning

    December 28, 2013 at 10:16 am

    John Gruden is overrated. He won the super bowl with Tony Dungy’s talent and left for the raiders and did nothing with them back to back 8-8 seasons and took a kicker in the first round he sounds like a great coach. I would like to see Lovie Smith but he doesn’t run a defense that fits our players. Bill Cower has been out to long. I say Jay Gruden look what he has done in Cincinnati with their offense or Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmerman it’s a sad day and shows the change in the times when you want somebody from Cincinnati. Don’t go for the overrated old coaches bring in another young guy with a lot of coaching talent and desire to win. Jim Schwartz was a good fit for the time gave the team an attitude it desperately needed but he has proven he has no discipline to take the team to the next level and win a super bowl. Also let’s not forget a new general manager wouldn’t hurt as well.

  73. Nate Manning

    December 28, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Jim Tressel coaching in the state of Michigan I think hell would actually freeze over. Although he is a great coach he’s better suited for the college game plus we don’t have enough running backs for his offense

  74. Todd Shadley

    December 28, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Gary Gentz

  75. Larry McClish

    December 28, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Where is Stafford on his contract? If a new coach comes in, something has to be done with him. He has talent but still makes the same mistakes and he’s been in the league five years. Tough decision to keep him but if the Lions do, he’ll have to revamp his throwing mechanics and reading of coverages.

  76. Mary McKee

    December 28, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Andrew, I have been a Lions fan since I was 5, I am now 59. I wear my Lions gear with pride no matter what they do. That 0-16 season I still wore my gear. I got laughed at and still stood there with pride. I do not live in Michigan anymore I live in Pa. and in Steelers territory. I took hell when we lost to the Steelers this season. Still wore my gear. I will never jump the bandwagon and yes I am sane. I like Gruden, Lovie at least they are proven head coaches.

  77. Chris Lenton

    December 28, 2013 at 11:13 am

    If they hire kubiak, I’m not watching anymore.

  78. Justin Purcell

    December 28, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Whisenhunt would be the worst choice! The cardinals didn’t even want to play for him anymore. The only reason he got a team to the Super Bowl was because of Kurt Warner.

  79. Tyler Brott

    December 28, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Keep Schwartz. Teach the players to stop getting 10+ penalties a game, there’s a playoff team. Detroit should fine the players for every penalty

  80. Omar Zarou

    December 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    First of all… Stafford, though I am sorely disappointed in him and his side arm garbage, is only 25 or 26 years old. He also missed 2 full seasons with injuries. So it’s basically his 3rd full year and he has talent. He will mature and be fine. He has 2years before he hits his prime (about 28 years old). He needs to get some help and he needs to admit it, but we don’t have change qbs or anything.

  81. Omar Zarou

    December 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Second, we should probably be looking for a new coaching team, but with the Ford family, expect 3 more years of Schwartz. My only hope is to change one or more coordinators. Third, I don’t blame as much on the Fords this time because we have spent money on talent.

  82. Robert Hahn

    December 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Lovie smith will make me happy

  83. Abdullah Kusari

    December 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I dont think Schwartz is gonna get fired because every coach that comes to the Lions gets fired. Its the owners that suck. On a side note I would love to have Jon Gruden

  84. Robert Schmidt

    December 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Why not Mike Holmgren? He wants back into coaching. He could reign in Stafford.

  85. Mark Armstrong

    December 28, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I’m for Bill O’Brien. Oh God, please don’t make me regret saying that.

  86. Max Burd Sr.

    December 28, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Hire Barry sanders as the head coach and Rodney peete as the oc lmao

  87. Max Burd Sr.

    December 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    They need to get some defensive backs and another good wide out

  88. Andre Micheaux

    December 28, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I hope it’s Lovey Smith…………change is good!!!!!!!

  89. Richard A. Lopez

    December 28, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Lions need “Chucky” in D town

  90. DarylJohnson

    December 29, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Stafford has been out of School 5 yrs,but his 1st two years in the NFL were cut short because of injury.. He is ahead of where both Manning brothers were after what basically amounts too 3 full seasons, his YPG is 287.3 which is #1 ALL-TIME

  91. DarylJohnson

    December 29, 2013 at 3:42 am

    Not that i’m defending Matt Coccia,but ask yourself which would be worse A) never getting to a Super Bowl or B) making it to 4 in a row and LOSING all 4. In some ways I think the Bills fans pain is greater

  92. Tony Willis

    December 29, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Schwartz sucks he is one of the worst coaches in the NFL, get rid of that trash of ah coach.