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Friday Notes: Updating the Lions' Search for a New Head Coach

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  • The Lions are going to interview Dolphins assistant/secondary coach Todd Bowles next Wednesday.  Bowles has only been with the Dolphins for one season.  He previously coached with the Jets, Browns, and Cowboys.  He was also Martin Mayhew's teammate on the Redskins for a few seasons.
  • The Lions are "expressing preliminary interest" in Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, as are the Rams.  The Rams also seem to be interested in interviewing Bowles and Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, so it looks like St. Louis and Detroit could end up fighting over the same coach.
  • Speaking of Frazier, he is "flattered" that the Lions are showing interest in him.  No specific interview has been set, but one will likely happen when Frazier's schedule allows it.  Should the Vikings be eliminated from the playoffs this weekend, I imagine the interview would take place next week.  If the Vikings win, then the Lions could interview him, but it would have to be quick and right after Minnesota's game.
  • If Frazier ended up getting the job, it would be a great hire in the minds of some coaches around the league.
  • Eagles general manager Tom Heckert has no interest in joining the Lions to be on a committee that would be responsible for decisions a general manager would make.  Since Mayhew is the GM and has the final say, Heckert would likely only be around to give his input, and that is obviously not appealing to someone that is already a GM. 

    I figured the Lions would have trouble finding a third person to join this committee, as there are not many people that want to enter into a situation where they have little to no power.  The only way the Lions will fill that job is by hiring someone that sees it as a step up from his current job.
  • Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was/is scheduled to interview with the Lions this week.  There's no word on when the interview took place if it has already.  Schwartz is also scheduled to meet with the Browns, and the Rams will likely set up an interview with him at a later date.
  • According to Tom Kowalski, the Lions also scheduled an interview with Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger.  Martin Mayhew and Tom Lewand were expected to leave Detroit on New Year's Eve to begin interviewing candidates for the head coaching job, and the two coordinators in Tennessee were the second destination.  The first destination was New York, where the Lions met with Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo yesterday.  The Browns were also in New York to meet with Spagnuolo, and the Jets and Broncos are expected to do the same this weekend.
  • Unsurprisingly, the Lions have some interest in adding former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan to the growing list of candidates.  Although Shanahan would be a great person to hire, I highly doubt there will be a whole lot of mutual interest.  Shanahan may want control over personnel decisions, and that certainly isn't going to happen in Detroit.  The Lions wouldn't allow a coach to have that much power and Shanahan probably wouldn't be all that interested in the Lions anyways.
  • SB Nation's NFL Studs and Duds awards were posted earlier this week.
  • The Red Wings beat the Blackhawks 6-4 yesterday in the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field.  This is the Wings' second win over the Blackhawks this week and their fourth this season.  For full coverage of the Wings and especially yesterday's game at Wrigley, check out Winging It In Motown.