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The Detroit Lions are wrapping up the second week of their coaching search Friday by interviewing Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, the sixth known candidate to discuss the position with team officials. You would think they are closing in on the end of Round 1, but there are at least four more names hovering in NFL circles as potential targets.
Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey has long been identified as a person of interest, but if he has interviewed, absolutely no one who is talking knows about it. Three other coaches whose teams play this weekend -- Arizona offensive line coach Russ Grimm, Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and San Diego defensive coordinator Ron Rivera -- could get into the mix before the Lions make a decision.
Like most media members, I have very little insight into what the Lions' newly restructured front office is thinking. It's pretty obvious they're targeting NFL assistants and aren't concerned about hiring a first-time head coach. Defense appears to be a priority as well. Otherwise, there's no telling if the Lions are even leaning in a direction at this point.
But we won't let that stop us from assessing this pool of candidates. To be clear, the ranking below represents my own thoughts and not necessarily the Lions'. I based the list in part on the specific challenges facing the Lions' next coach, who must eradicate a losing culture, possess a high level of patience and work in a committee-style front office.
Let me know what you think in the comment section below.