The Detroit Lions continue to waste no time in sending out interview requests. After formally seeking out three defensive-minded coaches, the Lions are reportedly looking at some offensive coaches, as well. According to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero, Detroit has requested to interview Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur:
The #Lions have requested permission to interview Pat Shurmur for their head coach job, source said.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 1, 2018
A Michigan native, Shurmur has been responsible for turning the Minnesota Vikings’ ragtag team of offensive talent into one of the best units in 2017. Despite injuries to Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford, Shurmur was able to turn the Vikings into one of the most efficient offenses in the league. The Vikings currently rank seventh in offensive DVOA and 10th in points scored.
Shurmur was promoted to offensive coordinator after Norv Turner resigned in 2016. He also had a brief head coaching stint with the Cleveland Browns in 2011-2012. There he posted a mere 9-23 record. The Browns had hired him in the hopes he could recreate his quarterback guru success he had had earlier in his career with Bradford (as the Rams’ offensive coordinator) and Donovan McNabb (as a long-time Eagles quarterbacks coach). He, unfortunately, wasn’t able to do so with the likes of Colt McCoy and Brandon Weeden.
If Lions fans are worried that losing Jim Caldwell—possibly along with offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter—would negatively affect Matthew Stafford’s development, Schurmer would make a lot of sense as a replacement. It would also have the added benefit of taking away one of their division rival’s best coaches.
Here is the list of coaches the Lions have reportedly requested to interview thus far: