On Thursday, the Detroit Lions’ head coaching search continued, as the team officially interviewed their two next candidates: Packers associate head coach/linebackers coach Winston Moss and Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur:
The #Lions have completed a head coaching interview with Green Bay Packers Associate Head Coach/Linebackers Winston Moss.— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 4, 2018
The #Lions have completed a head coaching interview with Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur.— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 5, 2018
Shurmur is a pretty popular head coach candidate this year. The Cardinals are also scheduled to interview with Shurmur on Thursday night, and the Bears and Giants will reportedly meet with him later in the week.
It’s easy to understand why Shurmur is such a popular candidate. The Vikings offense has been one of the best this year, and they’ve managed to do so with essentially their third-string quarterback all season. Teams are also trying to cram in an interview before the Vikings return from their bye week to focus on the playoffs. Teams are not permitted to interview a candidate who is still in the playoffs after the divisional round. That means candidates like Shurmur or Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia could be off the table until late in the playoffs.
Moss, however, can be interviewed at any time now. He also happens to be a pretty unique candidate for the job. No other teams appear to be courting Moss, perhaps because the long-time Packers assistant has never even been promoted to a coordinator job.
That being said, there must be something appealing about Moss. Green Bay purged nearly their entire coaching staff this week (offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, defensive coordinator, defensive line coach, linebackers assistant coach), but Moss survived. In fact, the Packers have entrusted Moss with the associate head coach role since given the title back in 2007. It’s clear they trust his leadership beyond that of just a positional coach.
The Lions have now interviewed the following candidates for the head coaching job:
- Lions DC Teryl Austin
- Lions OC Jim Bob Cooter
- Texans DC Mike Vrabel
- Vikings OC Pat Shurmur
- Packers associate HC/LB coach Winston Moss
In addition to these five candidate, the Lions are also reportedly interviewing Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and have expressed interest in Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.