Coaching Choice for Detroit Lions

Steve OlssonContributor IJanuary 13, 2009

Some are asking for patience before the team makes their decision. I think the hire should be made sooner rather than later. The college East-West Shrine game and the Senior Bowl our coming up and remember the combine is only a month away.

The Detroit Lions have plenty of picks to make and players to scout. It will take time to build the staff. Some prospective assistant coaches will be getting offers to join other teams. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to scout these kids in game action against better talent.

Who should be the choice?

My initial feeling on the coaching search for the Detroit Lions was for them to hire Leslie Frazier. I like the fact he played for Buddy Ryan and has experience with coaching different defensive systems, including with the Colts and Eagles. This made me believe that he had more flexibility in his approach and how he would be able to adapt to the personnel the Lions have. He would not be a system guy. He has the characteristics of Tony Dungy, which is a great act to follow.

Todd Bowles was in to interview for a second time and I think he still has to gain more experience before taking on the role of Head Coach. He has not been a coordinator at the pro level, although he does comes from a background working with Bill Parcells and Ron Wolf.

I think the inexperience of running and scheming a whole defense versus a position will hinder him in the same way I think it hurt Rod Marinelli. During his press conference, he did not seem to have a steady message. His thoughts kind of ran together. I’m sure he was nervous and this was a great learning opportunity for him—just not yet.

Then I heard and read about Jim Schwartz. He has had success with the Tennessee defense and the Baltimore Ravens' defense. He was smooth in his press conference, seemed to have a consistent flow with his answers, and also was able to add a little humor.

However, the main thing I like is he also has three years experience in scouting with the Cleveland Browns. This was with Scott Pioli, who everyone wanted to have run the team. As he stated in the press conference, this gives him a different outlook on building a team. It includes not just a vision on the team now, but how he can build a strong foundation for the future.

Now, I know Leslie Frazier has not been in for his second interview and we have not had a chance to hear him yet, but the leading candidate has to be Jim Schwartz.