Saturday, January 4, 2014
Who to watch this weekend as coaches
By Michael Rothstein
The Detroit Lions had been hoping to play this weekend in their second playoff appearance in three seasons.
Instead, the team is hunting for another head coach.
While the Lions interviewed Jim Caldwell on Friday, there are many other potential candidates that are where the Lions would like to be -- involved in the playoffs.
Here’s a quick primer of some of those candidates to watch for as you’re taking in the wild-card games this weekend. After this weekend, more candidates will open up for Detroit to talk with as some of these teams will lose. And if teams keep winning, that could alter the Lions' plans a little bit -- or force them to have patience.
Kansas City vs. Indianapolis (Saturday, 4:35 p.m.): No real candidates have surfaced in this game that the Lions would be interested in.
New Orleans vs. Philadelphia (Saturday, 8:10 p.m.): As of now, none of the Lions' top candidates are coaching in this game, either.
San Diego vs. Cincinnati (Sunday, 1:05 p.m.): This is the big one for the Lions. Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is a top candidate for the job and believed to be one of the front-runners as soon as the Lions can talk with him. Both of Cincinnati’s coordinators -- offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer -- are also thought to be on the Lions' list of candidates. Cincinnati assistant Hue Jackson, the former Oakland coach, could be another possibility here.
San Francisco vs. Green Bay (Sunday, 4:40 p.m.): San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman could eventually emerge as a candidate either in Detroit or for another job in the football sphere. Green Bay assistant head coach Winston Moss is a name that hasn’t really been mentioned, but Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten said he is a candidate that has been “overlooked a little bit there” as a potential candidate for a head-coaching job.