The Detroit Lions coaching search is starting to close in, but a few big rumors from Friday could change the trajectory of the top candidates in the search.
On “The A-Team” podcast with Adam Clanton and Adam Wexler, Arron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle—who we interviewed about Rick Smith here—dropped a big piece of news regarding the Lions’ coaching search and their pursuit of 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
“Saleh didn’t do very well in the Detroit interview, I was told, and is not a shoo-in to get the job,” Wilson said.
That obviously comes as disheartening news for all of the Lions fans that were hoping for Saleh to land the job, but it’s always important to take rumors like this with a grain of salt. The Lions have done a good job keeping news in-house, so if something like this leaks out, there’s always a chance the Lions purposely put it out there. There are a lot of teams interested in Saleh—the Jets, Falcons have already interview him; the Chargers and Jaguars are scheduled to on Saturday—and the Lions could potentially benefit from putting bad info out there.
Still, it’s not exactly reassuring to hear news like this.
Wilson wasn’t done dropping news about the Lions’ search, though. He also noted that the Lions are potentially interested in Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald.
“There’s some interest in Pat Fitzgerald,” Wilson said.
Fitzgerald has helped turn around a Wildcat team that had been most non-competitive through the early aughts. He’s held the head coaching job there for 15 years and is coming off 7-2 season with a big win over Auburn in the Citrus Bowl. Northwestern now has five winning season in their past six years, including four straight Bowl victories.
The rumors are starting to swirl, y’all. Hopefully that means we’re getting near the end of this.
UPDATE: Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press has a different story on how Saleh’s interview went:
A lot of you asking about Robert Saleh this morning, The feedback I got was that his interview with the Lions went well, they liked his presentation and potential staff.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) January 9, 2021