An Offensive Boss Best? Ranking Lions Candidates for Head Coach

Eric Bieniemy

Getty Eric Bieniemy before the Super Bowl.

The Detroit Lions are setting out to begin the interview process for head coach and work their way through, and it’s very likely that the team will pick their next boss from the list that’s already been established.

So how does that list shake out in terms of ranking? The Lions have a lot of options, and there is a definite way that the candidates should stack up at this point in time.

Here’s a look at ranking the players in the mix to be the next coach of the Lions, and what makes them strong for the job.


Eric Bieniemy

While Bieniemy might not be the top candidate in the minds of many in Detroit, he is red hot across the league and makes sense for the Lions because he is an elite offensive mind. Detroit could use an offensive coach to lead them moving forward, and Bieniemy could be the ideal guy for the job thanks to his pedigree. The Lions need to have him on the top of the list and he should be the team’s leader in the clubhouse for the job thanks to what he can do with quarterbacks and an offense as well as being a solid leader. The Lions should be willing to wait however long it takes to get Bieniemy into the fold to lead the next generation of Lions football.


Robert Saleh

The top candidate for many thanks to his Detroit ties, there’s little doubting that Saleh makes a ton of sense for the Lions thanks to his leadership abilities and his chances of confidently leading a successful defense. Saleh makes a ton of sense for the Lions for these reasons, and he does figure to be one of the main options for the team. He should get a long look for the Lions thanks to what he did with the San Francisco defense this season. As a Detroiter, Saleh could be a slam dunk hire to unify the fanbase and could understand how to do the job in the right way to be successful.


Arthur Smith

The Lions could need an offensive coach, and Smith is an interesting name given how hard he has worked to keep the Titans near the top of the league on offense. Smith has a great idea of how to form a successful running game and a solid complementary passing game, which could benefit the Lions greatly. He’s quietly one of the top candidates around and someone that could work wonders with what the Lions have on offense. Arguably, Detroit’s personnel could suit Smith’s offense in a big way.


Dan Campbell

Campbell was a surprise addition to the list, but he’s an interesting name as the New Orleans assistant head coach and also a guy who has been a player recently and can connect with players. Campbell did a nice job thrust into a bad situation in Miami and going 5-7, and probably deserves another shot as a coach. It could help him that he’s been in Detroit before and understands the culture, and as an offensive mind, he would know what could help the Lions turn over a new leaf on that side of the ball.


Marvin Lewis

Lewis may well be the most experienced name the Lions interview, but hiring him might not be the best move to keep fans happy and get the team on the right track. There’s no doubting Lewis has a penchant for defense, which has been his calling card in his career. That makes him an attractive candidate for Detroit, but his 0-7 mark in the playoffs lends to some pause for the Lions, who need to find a way to win in the playoffs. If Lewis has the right answers on how to do that, he could be an attractive candidate given his experience and ability to bring a locker room together.


Darrell Bevell

Bevell did a nice job keeping the Lions together in spite of the mess that came in the fallout of the firing of Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn, but his tenure over the last few weeks hasn’t been without controversy. There was the firing of Brayden Coombs, the release of Jayron Kearse and other questionable issues going on. That might help Bevell’s case in terms of making a culture, but there is no way he should be the head coach. If the Lions elect to keep him as offensive coordinator, it wouldn’t be the worst decision in the world.


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