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Rod Wood suggests Lions list of GM, head coach candidates have been finalized

It appears the Lions are closing in on their hires already.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Detroit Lions team president and CEO Rod Wood met with media on Tuesday morning to discuss the team’s 2020 season and the latest on their search for a new general manager and head coach.

Towards the end of the Zoom session, Wood revealed something very important regarding where they’re at in the search. He said that the team has likely already sent out the interview requests they’ll need to find their new general manager and head coach.

“I think we’re probably to the point where we’ve put forward every name that we’re going to consider,” Wood said. “But we’ve had names that we’ve considered and restacked and reordered, and there’s a handful we may still pursue. But right now I'm assuming that the candidates that we’re interviewing, one of them will be our next head coach and one of them will be our next general manager.”

In other words, of the reported completed interviews and ones to come in the future, we’ve likely got our list of finalists for each job.

For the head coaching job, Wood confirmed the interviews of Marvin Lewis last week and Eric Bieniemy on Monday. He also confirmed that Lions interim head coach Darrell Bevell would interview later on Tuesday. He said he would not confirm any other reported interviews to come, but said there were some later this week and some next week as well. National reports suggest that the Lions will interview 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh on Thursday, and Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith and Saints assistant head coach Dan Campbell next week.

As for the general manager search, the Lions have already confirmed the interviews of seven candidates: Kyle O’Brien, Lance Newmark, Rob Lohman, Louis Riddick, Rick Smith, Scott Pioli, Thomas Dimitroff. There are reports out there that the Lions will interview four more candidates later this week: Terry Fontenot, Brad Holmes, Jeff Ireland, and George Paton.

There is also the reported team interest in Seahawks GM John Schneider. Wood did not confirm or deny the Lions’ interest in him, as it could be viewed as tampering at this point in the process.

So here’s what the Lions’ “finalized” candidate list looks like based on the reports that have surfaced. Of course, it’s worth noting that there is a very real chance that other candidates out there exist, but simply haven’t been reported yet.

Lions head coach candidates:

  • Former Bengals HC Marvin Lewis
  • Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy
  • Lions interim HC Darrell Bevell
  • 49ers DC Robert Saleh
  • Titans OC Arthur Smith
  • Saints assistant HC Dan Campbell

Lions GM candidates:

  • Lions VP of player personnel Kyle O’Brien
  • Lions director of player personnel Lance Newmark
  • Lions director of pro scouting Rob Lohman
  • Former Eagles director of pro personnel Louis Riddick
  • Former Texans GM Rick Smith
  • Former Falcons assistant GM Scott Pioli
  • Former Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff
  • Saints VP/assistant GM of pro personnel Terry Fontenot
  • Saints VP/assistant GM of college personnel Jeff Ireland
  • Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes
  • Vikings assistant GM George Paton
  • Seahawks GM/executive VP John Schneider

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