Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Updating the Lions' coaching search
By Kevin Seifert
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Let's take this opportunity to make four points on the Detroit Lions' coaching search:
- First of all, the Lions are one of several teams that have requested permission to interview San Diego defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. (Here's a report from ESPN's John Clayton if you have an Insider subscription). Rivera issued a statement Monday saying he won't interview with anyone until the Chargers' season is over.
- Of the eight reported candidates the Lions have under consideration -- and I'm not considering former Denver coach Mike Shanahan among them -- six are defensively-oriented. That's a pretty good indication of where new general manager Martin Mayhew, a former defensive back himself, is headed.
- Only one of the eight, Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, has been an NFL head coach. Some of the candidates would be worthy of market-level contracts, but the Lions don't seem interested in hiring a coach who would require a blockbuster deal. That's a pretty good indication of where the Lions are in terms of their budget and finances.
- I agree with David Birkett of the Oakland Press, who suggests that Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has the type of background and personality that could make him a good fit for this job. He is scheduled to interview in Detroit on Friday and Saturday. Will Frazier accept it if the Lions make an offer? I don't know. He is also a candidate for a much better job in Denver. Otherwise, no favorite has emerged as of yet. The NFL rumor mill isn't really churning in part because no one knows much about Mayhew and how he thinks.