Lions' job is Ken Whisenhunt's to lose, according to report

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

All signs point to Ken Whisenhunt being the Detroit Lions' top coaching candidate.

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell's interview with the Detroit Lions on Friday reportedly went well, but San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt seems to be the favorite to become Detroit's next head coach. Whisenhunt was described as the Lions' leading candidate on Saturday, and Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that the Lions' job is Whisenhunt's to lose.

Just as important, it seems that Whisenhunt thinks quite highly of the Lions' head coaching job. He's reportedly drawing interest from the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans, but Jason La Canfora reports that Whisenhunt "views the Lions opening as being the best opportunity available and a place where a new coach could win immediately." In other words, it seems the Lions like Whisenhunt and Whisenhunt likes the Lions.

Another interesting tidbit from La Canfora is that Whisenhunt may have three coaches in mind as candidates to be his defensive coordinator: Ravens secondary coach Teryl Austin, Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler and former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast. Austin, interestingly, is believed to be Caldwell's choice for defensive coordinator, and Pendergast was with Whisenhunt in the early years of his tenure in Arizona.

Regardless of what the Chargers do on Sunday in the playoffs, Whisenhunt will be able to speak with the Lions next week. If the Chargers lose, it's entirely possible that the Lions could go ahead and make Whisenhunt their next head coach if the interview goes well. If the Chargers win, though, the Lions will have to wait until San Diego is out of the playoffs to officially hire Whisenhunt.

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