In the Detroit Lions' Coaching Search, Who's Next?

Joe UnderhillCorrespondent IIIDecember 30, 2008

The Lions made the necessary move of firing coach Rod Marinelli on Monday. Now the Lions are in need of a coach for the sixth time since 2000. This will be one of the most important decisions team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Meyhew have to tackle.

The Lions really need to go big here. According to the Detroit News, the Lions have expressed interest in New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

The Lions also plan to interview Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, and Washington Redskins secondary coach Jerry Gray.

Frazier and Gray are both minority candidates, which ensures the Lions compliance with the "Rooney Rule." Both of these candidates have solid credentials, but the candidate I would really like to see on this list is Bill Cowher.

Cowher has said he is not interested in returning to coaching. However the Lions should still inquire in what it would take to convince him to reconsider his position. 

There is a chance that Kansas City head coach Herm Edwards will be fired. He has the experience and the stability the Lions need at the helm. If the Lions can't get Cowher or Edwards, I think they should make Steve Spagnuolo their primary target.

Defense wins championships, and Spangnuolo has built a defense which has won a Super Bowl and is one of the best in the league.

Another defensive specialist that the Lions should set up an interview with is Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan. Ryan lost out on the head coaching job an Baltimore last year but should be offered at least an interview.

Brian Billick is dark horse candidate as well. Billick has experience as a successful head coach in the NFL and is reported to be looking for another head-coach gig.

The Lions are in need of an offensive and defensive coordinator. Former Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel would be a good interview for the defensive coordinator job. Jerry Gray may also, get an interview for defensive coordinator.

However, where the Lions will go for their coordinators will largely depend on who they hire as their head coach. Before the Lions worry about making the right pick in the NFL draft, they need to get the right coach.

I think the final pick should come down between Steve Spagnuolo and Rex Ryan. Memo to the Lions "TAKE THE TIME, PICK THE RIGHT COACH"