The Detroit Lions still have a head coach, but it appears their coaching search has already unofficially begun. Rumors about potential replacements for Jim Schwartz started swirling earlier this week, and now FootballScoop.com is reporting that the Lions have already reached out to three potential candidates: Penn State's Bill O'Brien, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly and former NFL coach Tony Dungy.
Mentioned that Bill O’Brien had been contacted by the Lions. Hear from good source that Lions have also reached out to Dungy & Brian Kelly— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 26, 2013
This isn't the first time O'Brien has been mentioned as drawing interest from the Lions. Several teams are expected to make a run at hiring him, but it's unclear at this time if he will leave Penn State after only two seasons.
This also isn't the first time Kelly has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the Lions. Way back in June, there was a report that suggested that the Lions had plans to pursue Kelly if Schwartz was let go after the 2013 season. Like with O'Brien, it's unclear if Kelly would actually leave his current job (at Notre Dame), but he has been linked to the Lions for some time now.
Finally, Dungy is one of the most popular names when it comes to vacancies around the league each year. He hasn't coached since retiring from the Indianapolis Colts after the 2008 season, and he doesn't appear to have any plans to return to coaching:
Dungy is from the state of Michigan, and he would be one of the top candidates to fill the job if he actually has interest in coaching again. It doesn't appear that he wants to come back, but there's no harm in asking, I suppose.