Two-Man Race for Lions Coaching Job?

1/3/14 in NFL   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

Aug. 24, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA: San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsThe rumors all seemed to pile up within minutes of Jim Schwartz’s firing - perhaps because the firing was so imminent - and five to ten names quickly started circulating the Internet. Amongst those rumored as potential targets for the Lions were Seahawks assistant Tom Cable, Penn State coach Bill O’Brien (now the new Texans coach), and former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith (now the new Tampa Bay coach). Then there were the more unlikely candidates such as Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden, both of whom seem to be rather content in their current roles as NFL analysts.
 
As of now, the team’s focus appears to be guided towards two potential candidates: Jim Caldwell and Ken Whisenhunt. Both have been NFL head coaches recently and both are currently working as Offensive Coordinators for solid football teams.
 
Here’s a closer look at the two lead candidates:
 
Jim Caldwell, Offensive Coordinator, Baltimore Ravens
 
The Redskins and Lions are reportedly interviewing Caldwell for their vacant head coaching positions this weekend. In terms of his past work, the job that makes more sense for Caldwell is with the Lions, mainly because of the opportunity to work with Matthew Stafford, a quarterback with a skill set much more comparable to his previous hurlers than Washington’s Robert Griffin III.
 
Caldwell worked as a Quarterbacks Coach for the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2008, a dominant run in the career of Peyton Manning that included a Super Bowl victory in 2007. Then after Tony Dungy stepped down as head coach, Caldwell was promoted to fill the role, which he served from 2009 to 2011. In his very first year, he took the Colts all the way to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the New Orleans Saints. In the following season, his 10-6 Colts were ousted from the first round of the playoffs and the season after that was the nightmare year in Indianapolis where Peyton Manning missed the entire season and the team went 2-14 before Caldwell lost his job.
 
In 2012, he became Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach for the Baltimore Ravens, helping lead the team to a Super Bowl Championship his very first year. Under his guidance, Joe Flacco put together a near flawless performance in the playoffs. So is it time for Caldwell to get a second shot as a head coach?
 
Ken Whisenhunt, Offensive Coordinator, San Diego Chargers
 
Like Caldwell, Whisenhunt is an offensive minded coach. He served as Offensive Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004 to 2006, helping the team capture Super Bowl XL in 2006. He then became head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, a position he held from 2007 to 2012. He was 45-51 with the Cardinals, leading the team to the Super Bowl in 2009 and the second round of the playoffs in 2010. His last three seasons, however, were rather shaky. The team went 5-11 in 2010, 8-8 in 2011, and then 5-11 in 2012 before he was fired.
 
Then in 2013, he became Offensive Coordinator for the San Diego Chargers and helped lead quarterback Philip Rivers to a career revival season. The team also captured the final AFC playoff spot last weekend and will take on the Bengals in Cincinnati on Sunday.
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1/15/14   |   ZenoCosini   |   5 respect

I would have preferred Whisenhunt too.  (Maybe the Titans beat the Lions to the punch.) But Caldwell should help turn Stafford hone his quarterbacking skills.