The Detroit Lions don’t officially have an opening for head coach yet, but if things continue to go wrong down the stretch, that could be the case.
In such an event, how would Detroit’s opening be received on the NFL market? Not all that bad according to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell. Recently, Barnwell ranked the potential openings across the league, and when it came to Detroit, the Lions were a top five situation in the event they move on from Matt Patricia.
Detroit placed at No. 4 on the list, and was ahead of other potential openings such as the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and Washington Redskins.
The Lions were just behind the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys. According to Barnwell, Detroit’s biggest advantage is at quarterback, while their biggest disadvantage is ownership. As for the situation itself, Barnwell broke it down in-depth, but said there is enough to like for a possible coach to consider the move.
Here’s part of what he wrote:
“The defense doesn’t look closer to being fixed than it was when Patricia arrived. General manager Bob Quinn has curiously continued to invest first-round picks on offense, having used three of his four since taking over the job on players surrounding Stafford. The one player Quinn has drafted to achieve a Pro Bowl or an All-Pro nod is return man Jamal Agnew, although both center Frank Ragnow and wideout Kenny Golladay have had breakout 2019 seasons.
The draw for most coaches here will be Stafford, who provides a built-in floor as one of the league’s most consistently competent quarterbacks. He was in the middle of one of the best stretches of his career before getting injured, and given that he hadn’t missed a game since 2010, it seems fair to call his 2019 back injury an aberration until we see more evidence to the contrary. Stafford isn’t cheap — he has the league’s highest cap hit at $29.5 million this year and is penciled in for the fifth-highest hit in 2020 at $31.5 million — but this version of the quarterback and a solid defense would be a playoff team. If they could just fix that defense.”
Detroit’s defense has been bad, and that’s a direct reflection of Patricia as a boss given he was billed as a defensive guru. While Barnwell doesn’t make any suggestions for a coach if Detroit makes a move, another analyst offered an intriguing name.
Mike McCarthy Named Fit for Lions
McCarthy, fired last year by the rival Green Bay Packers, spent the 2019 season on the sidelines waiting for his next opportunity. That could come in the 2020 cycle, and while it’s still too early to say if the Lions are set to be one of the teams looking, that hasn’t stopped some from seeing the fit with the coach in the Motor City.
Recently, Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports put together a list with some teams that could make sense for McCarthy this time around on the cycle, and the Lions placed at No. 5 on the list.
For Benjamin, McCarthy makes tons of sense for the Lions given the stability he would bring to the mix.
Writers Calling for Lions to Fire Matt Patricia
According to a couple of writers, the end for Patricia should be near as coach of the Lions after how miserable things have turned for Detroit in 2019. According to Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News, it’s time for Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn to go. Here’s just a portion of what he had to say.
It didn’t end there, however. NJ.com’s Darryl Slater had Patricia high on his list of hot seat rankings for coaches placing only behind Pat Shurmur. According to Slater, Patricia simply isn’t a good coach whatsoever.
Patricia is taking heat from quite possibly every single angle as his season has spiraled out of control. For Detroit, there is attraction in a possible opening if a move is made.