Wednesday was a tough day for the “Matt Patricia for the Detroit Lions new head coach” crowd. Starting with Peter King’s claim that Patricia prefers the Giants job and ending with a report for The Daily News that “all signs point” to the Patriots defensive coordinator landing in New York, the narrative has shifted.
No longer does it appear that the Lions are front-runners to land Matt Patricia. Of course, things can change in an instant and reports could turn out to be premature, but let’s discuss the Lions’ backup plan. Because even if the rumors aren’t true, Detroit better consider other options, because that’s what a good franchise does in any situation like that.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
If the Lions don’t hire Matt Patricia as their next head coach, who do you want them to hire instead?
My answer: While I don’t really have a strong feeling (positive or negative) about any of the Lions’ other five available candidates, I think I’d be most happy with either Mike Vrabel or Pat Shurmur.
With the former, you get a lot of the things you get in Patricia. A “player’s coach” that doesn’t just let the player’s act out, but gains their respect due to their extensive knowledge and, in Vrabel’s case, plenty of playing experience. The thing that sold me most on Vrabel was the 97.1 interview with Texans writer John McClain, in which McClain says Vrabel has head coach written on him more than anyone he’s covered 39 years.
As for Shurmur, I know a lot of people are scared off by his brief stint with the Browns (9-23 record), but I’m willing to toss out anyone’s career with Cleveland because: Browns.
I have to admit, I am intoxicated with what Shurmur has done with the Vikings’ offense, and for years I’ve believed that the Lions have enough talent on offense to be a top-five unit. I think Shurmur could be the guy that takes them over the top. Of course, that would leave a huge responsibility for whoever becomes defensive coordinator (fingers crossed for Kris Richard), but it’s a chance I’d take.
If the Lions don’t get Matt Patricia, who do you want?
This poll is closed
Panthers DC Steve Wilks
Texans DC Mike Vrabel
Vikings OC Pat Shurmur
Lions OC Jim Bob Cooter
Packers associate head coach/LB coach Winston Moss