Lions HC Rumors: Mike Vrabel, Matt Patricia Among Candidates for Vacancy

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2018

New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The Detroit Lions are starting to identify potential candidates to interview for their vacant head coaching position.

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Lions have submitted interview requests to Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel and New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero noted the team would also be interviewing Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. ESPN's Josina Anderson reported defensive coordinator Teryl Austin would be among those interviewing as well.

Vrabel and Patricia have direct ties to Lions general manager Bob Quinn, who worked in the Patriots' front office and scouting department from 2000-15. 

Patricia has been on Bill Belichick's coaching staff since 2004, winning three Super Bowls during that time. The 43-year-old has been New England's defensive coordinator for the past six seasons. 

After spending the first four years of his playing career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Vrabel was with the Patriots from 2001-08. He has been an assistant on the Texans coaching staff since 2014 and was promoted to defensive coordinator last season.

The Lions announced Monday that Jim Caldwell had been fired as head coach. He went 36-28 with two playoff appearances in four seasons. 

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