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Where the Detroit Lions’ Coaching Search Stands, Week Two Edition: Ken Whisenhunt Now Availible

January 13th, 2014 at 10:15 AM
By Max DeMara

After another busy week of interviews and rumors, the Detroit Lions may have received the break they needed to help conclude their coaching search. Ken Whisenhunt's San Diego Chargers were eliminated by the Denver Broncos after a hard fought game, and could quickly become Detroit's new coach as a result.

'Arizona Cardinals Football Training 2010' photo (c) 2010, Nick Bastian - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Regardless, there seems to be a final four which has formed for the Lions heading into this week. Don't expect the Lions to interview any other coordinators from teams within the playoffs or out, considering a profile has emerged for the job and NFL head coaching experience seems desirable. This week, either an announcement about Whisenhunt or a second round of interviews should be expected as things may happen fast.

1. Ken Whisenhunt, OC, San Diego Chargers. Now that Whisenhunt is out of the playoffs, he's fair game to be hired, and has already interviewed with the Browns, Titans and Lions. Though a deal with Detroit seems imminent to most experts, Tennessee is reportedly "very interested" in Whisenhunt's services. It will likely come down to personal preference. If there's not a deal for Whisenhunt in the next 48 hours with the Lions, it could be a sign he prefers to work elsewhere or the process is dragging out.

2. Mike Munchak, Former Head Coach, Tennessee Titans. The Lions were reportedly wowed by Munchak in his interview. For this reason, ESPN's Chris Mortensen said yesterday via Twitter not to discount Munchak in Detroit's search, even though Whisenhunt seems like a slam dunk. Might Munchak pull an upset? Considering he's been available to hire since last week, it's not likely, but if no news on a Whisenhunt hire leaks within three days, there could be some fire here. Regardless, he probably finishes second.

3. Gary Kubiak, Former Head Coach, Houston Texans. After Kubiak interviewed early last week, little has been reported about his candidacy. Kubiak also interviewed for the vacant Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator position, and many have unofficially speculated the Lions could have been sizing Kubiak up as a potential offensive coordinator. If he's not hired as the coach in Detroit, watch for further rumors considering that possible transition. For now, though, it seems like he's out of the top two and a possible third runner up.

4. Jim Caldwell, OC, Baltimore Ravens. Nothing additional has been reported about Caldwell's candidacy since he was the first to interview for the Lions' job. If Detroit has a second round of interviews this week and Caldwell manages to make that cut, he might be a player for the job in the end. Until then, lump Caldwell in the category of second to fourth runner ups along with Kubiak and possibly Munchak. Regardless of Caldwell's possible fit or his exceptional interview preparation with Matthew Stafford, it seems to be all Whisenhunt.

Max DeMara is the managing editor of Lions 101. You can find him on this site's Twitter @detroitlions101

Tags: Detroit, Detroit Lions, Football, Gary Kubiak, Jim Caldwell, Ken Whisenhunt, Mike Munchak, NFL

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