Lions coaching search: Recapping the first few days

Jeff Gross

A look at the developments from the first few days of the Detroit Lions' coaching search.

Compared to some other teams, the Detroit Lions' coaching search is moving at a pretty slow pace. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for example, hired Lovie Smith just days after firing Greg Schiano, and other teams have already lined up multiple interviews or at least received permission from teams to talk to various coordinators. The Lions, on the other hand, haven't created too many headlines just yet with their search for a new head coach, which officially began after Jim Schwartz was fired on Monday.

Since Schwartz's firing, there has only been one truly noteworthy development in the Lions' coaching search when you consider that a couple other pieces of news turned out to be false. Here's a recap:

Only one interview lined up so far

As far as we know, the Lions currently only have an interview planned with Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell. It's unclear when that interview will take place, though. Caldwell is also expected to interview for the Washington Redskins' vacant head coaching job, and with the Penn State head coaching job opening up thanks to Bill O'Brien being hired by the Houston Texans, it's possible Caldwell could get a look for that vacancy as well. (Caldwell was a Penn State assistant from 1986-1992.)

Not so fast on Todd Bowles and Tom Cable

On Monday night, it was reported that the Lions made contact with the Arizona Cardinals about defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. This seemed to be an indication that the Lions were seeking permission to speak with Bowles, but that report turned out to be incorrect. As it stands right now, Bowles is not believed to actually be a candidate for the Lions' job.

The same goes for Seattle Seahawks assistant Tom Cable. It was reported on Tuesday that the Lions were "doing background work" on Cable and even spoke with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll about him. Shortly after, however, it was reported that Cable isn't even a candidate for the Lions' vacancy and that conversation with Carroll never actually happened. Needless to say, Cable doesn't appear to be in the mix for the Lions' job.

Other names in the mix?

There have really only been three names linked to the Lions in the past 24 hours. One is Caldwell, who is expected to interview with the team at some point. Another is Lovie Smith, who was expected to interview with the Lions before he was quickly hired by the Bucs on Wednesday night. The final name is Ken Whisenhunt, who is the current offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers. There hasn't been a concrete report directly stating that the Lions have interest in Whisenhunt just yet, but he seems like one of the top candidates at this point.

Whisenhunt has been mentioned quite a bit as a potential candidate, and the notion that he's "well positioned" suggests he's going to get a look from the Lions here shortly. Again, there's nothing concrete yet, but that could simply be because the Lions have to wait to talk to Whisenhunt since the Chargers have a playoff game this week.

Right now, the Lions seem to be taking a patient approach when it comes to their coaching search. They appear to be doing a lot of work behind the scenes to research potential candidates rather than simply requesting permission to talk to all of the popular coordinators from playoff teams. As a result, there haven't been a whole lot of developments in their coaching search just yet, but I'm sure business will start to pick up shortly.

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