Whisenhunt likely to interview Thursday

ESPN Insider Ed Werder has learned San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt will likely interview with the Detroit Lions on Thursday evening in San Diego.

Whisenhunt has been thought of as the lead candidate for the Lions job since the team fired Jim Schwartz on Dec. 30 after five seasons with the club.

The team is allowed to interview him this week, but is not allowed to hire him if they chose to until after the Chargers were eliminated from the playoffs.

Whisenhunt fits the exact profile for what the Lions are looking for in a head coach. He is a former head coach who has experience running an offense and developing and refining quarterbacks.

He helped to develop Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, then retooled the careers of both Kurt Warner in Arizona and Philip Rivers in San Diego. His biggest issue came when he did not have an elite quarterback to work with, which happened his final three seasons in Arizona and led to his dismissal.

Whisenhunt will be the fourth candidate expected to interview for the Lions job. Jim Caldwell interviewed last Friday, Gary Kubiak interviewed on Tuesday. Mike Munchak has his interview moved to Wednesday and Jay Gruden is still potentially going to interview.