The Lions started their coaching search immediately after they fired Jim Schwartz on Monday.
Team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew promised a thorough and expedient search. NFL head coaching experience isn’t a requirement but would be beneficial.
One of the candidates should be Ken Whisenhunt currently the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers. Because the Chargers are in the playoffs Whisenhunt can’t be interviewed until next week at the earliest.
Here are five reasons Whisenhunt would be a good choice for the Lions:
1. He was the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals from 2007 to 2012. Because the Lions have a talented roster, they’re not looking to blow things up. They want a coach who can come in and get the team over the hump. Certainly head coaching experience would be a bonus.
2. Whisenhunt also had some success as the Cardinals’ head coach, taking them to the Super Bowl following the 2008 season. Whisenhunt has a 4-2 playoff record as a head coach and a 45-51 overall record.
3. Matthew Stafford and the offense need some tweaking. Whisenhunt is a coach with experience on the offensive side of the ball. Another plus.
4. Whisenhunt gets credit for developing Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in his first three seasons in the NFL. In fact, Whisenhunt was the offensive coordinator when Roethlisberger and the Steelers won Super Bowl XL at Ford Field in Detroit.
5. He won’t have to make a decision on a starting quarterback. Part of his downfall with the Cardinals was his indecision on choosing a starting QB. He inherited Matt Leinert who was injured often. That opened the door for Kurt Warner. With Warner the Cards went 9-7 in 2008 and 10-6 in 2009. Without Warner as a starter, Whisenhunt’s record was 20-30.