Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
He's likely not the most popular name of the coaching candidates, but Brian Billick represents the ideal choice to take the Detroit Lions to the next level.
Offensive credentials? Check. He only masterminded the most prolific offense in NFL history in Minnesota in the late 1990s. His 1998 offense set the NFL record (since surpassed) for points in a season with a roster quite similar to what Detroit already has in place.
While Randall Cunningham was certainly more mobile at quarterback than Matthew Stafford, the downfield cannon and confidence to make tough throws are definitely familiar.
Randy Moss was the preeminent receiving weapon in the game for those Vikings, just as Calvin Johnson is now for Detroit. Robert Smith and Leroy Hoard were a similar productive and versatile running back tandem like Reggie Bush and Joique Bell.
Both had solid offensive lines and productive red-zone tight ends. The one difference was that his Vikings had a strong second, and third, wide receiver. These Lions lack Cris Carter or even Jake Reed, but that's what the draft and free agency are all about.
Defensive credentials? Check. Billick moved from Minnesota to being the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. Under his guidance, they quickly won a Super Bowl behind Ray Lewis and a dominating defense.
The 2000 Ravens had a meek offense, but Billick found a way to win that defied the reigning narrative of his style.
That demonstrates the third box that Billick checks off: ability to adapt to the situation. He is smart enough to recognize there is more than one way to win.
Billick has a definite swagger, offering a "smartest guy in the room" vibe. He's confident and has proven he can win multiple playoff games in a row. That has major appeal for a team that has one playoff win in the Super Bowl era.