Mike Shanahan? Bill Cowher? Don't Expect the Detroit Lions To Hire Them

Al DarinContributor IJanuary 6, 2009

Wouldn't it be great if the Lions could get a big name like Mike Shanahan, Bill Cowher, or Marty Schottenheimer to coach them next year? Or even better, bring in Bill Parcells to be the general manager?

Any of those would be a great move for the Lions, but unfortunately, William Clay Ford looks like he will keep the Lions in the cellar for another 10 years.

The decisions Ford makes are absolutely puzzling. Firing Matt Millen was a great decision, but he followed it up in the worst possible way by hiring Millen's assistant, Martin Mayhew, as GM.

Hiring Mayhew is a small baby-step in the right direction. Instead of hiring a GM without any experience at all, he hired one who learned from the worst GM in NFL history.

What about trying to get Bill Parcells to be the GM? Parcells is known for turning awful teams into playoff teams, and who is more awful than the Detroit Lions? Plus, the Lions' pick three times in the first 33 picks. You can't tell me that Parcells isn't a little bit interested in taking on that challenge.

However, it appears Ford's loyalty to Mayhew will keep him as GM, and why would Parcells want to answer to someone like him?

So why not hire a proven coach like Shanahan, Cowher, or Schottenheimer. I'm sure the Lions would love to have them, but why would they want to tarnish their legacies in Detroit?

Put yourself in Shanahan's shoes. You can get any coaching job in football. Why would you want to go to a team like the Lions, where the final decisions will be made by a guy who has no front-office experience except constructing an 0-16 team? Steve Mariucci saw what happens there.

Now imagine you are Jason Garrett or Steve Spagnuolo. You are the hot assistant that everyone is looking to hire as their next head coach. You want to be put in the best possible position to succeed, otherwise you might never be looked at as a head coach again. Just ask Marty Mornhinweg and Rod Marinelli what that's like.

So who can the Lions' get as their next head coach. My guess is it will be some assistant coach or coordinator who will jump on any head coaching job that is offered to them.

It could be Jerry Gray, a friend of Mayhew and current defensive backs coach for the Washington Redskins. Gray said he was "surprised" the Lions interviewed him and that was only head coaching interview he ever had. Looks like Mayhew knows something the rest of the NFL does not.

The Lions will hire Gray, or somebody who is equal in qualifications, and that means winning less than 15 games total for another three years.