Good morning, Happy New Year, and ROOOOAARRR!!!!
Less than 24 hours after the Detroit Lions fired Jim Schwartz on Monday, the team has already started to make some moves toward looking for their next coach.
ESPN Insider Adam Schefter reported the team is scheduling an interview with Baltimore offensive coordinator (and former Indianapolis head coach) Jim Caldwell and Dave Birkett from the Detroit Free Press reported that former Chicago coach Lovie Smith is likely to get an interview and that Seattle assistant Tom Cable is also being "vetted."
That Detroit is talking with Caldwell and Smith is not surprising at all. They both fit almost everything Tom Lewand and Martin Mayhew laid out as potential criteria on Monday when they had their news conference announcing the firing of Schwartz.
Smith has head-coaching experience, has shown a level of success by taking the Bears to one Super Bowl and three playoff experiences in his nine seasons with the team. He also has experience running the 4-3 defense, which Mayhew appeared to prefer over the 3-4 defense because of Detroit's current personnel.
Caldwell also has head-coaching experience, making the playoffs two times in his three years running the Colts, including a Super Bowl appearance in 2009. He took over as Baltimore's offensive coordinator in the middle of December of 2012, and helped lead the Ravens to the Super Bowl that year. He fits a lot of the offensive requirements of the job, having worked the majority of his career with Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco.
Cable is the more surprising name on this early list. He has the head coaching experience, running Oakland for three seasons, but he did not have a single season over .500.
One man off the board is Bill O'Brien, who agreed to leave Penn State for the Houston Texans last night.
For a list of other potential candidates who fit what Mayhew and Lewand are looking for, here's a quick list that will likely be ever-changing.
And now, a quick New Year's search around the Interwebs looking for Lions news.
Ashlee Palmer is getting a MRI on his left ankle, may need an operation.
Dave Birkett from the Detroit Free Press writes that Cable fits the requirements but is a long shot.
Josh Katzenstein from the Detroit News writes that Matthew Stafford and the players deserve more blame for the Lions plummeting than Jim Schwartz. Chris McCosky from the News looks at questions facing the Lions as they hunt for a new coach.
Justin Rogers from MLive writes that Glover Quin doesn't regret signing with the Lions despite the coaching shift. Kyle Meinke from MLive writes that players want offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn to return to the team next year.