Despite Jim Schwartz still at the helm, the Detroit Lions may have already begun their coaching search after the team was officially eliminated from playoff contention last weekend.
According to FootballScoop.com, the Lions have already reached out to three potential candidates in Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Penn State’s Bill O’Brien and former NFL head coach Tony Dungy.
Mentioned that Bill O’Brien had been contacted by the Lions. Hear from good source that Lions have also reached out to Dungy & Brian Kelly
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) December 26, 2013
As far as Kelly goes this apparently wouldn’t be the first time the Lions were interested in the Irish head coach. Pride of Detroit reported back in June that the team would pursue Kelly if Schwartz wasn’t brought back in 2014 which certainly looks like a possibility right now. But at this time it’s unclear if Kelly would even consider leaving South Bend.
Bill O’Brien is another name that has recently been linked to the Lions among other interested NFL teams. O’Brien – who has experience in the NFL as an assistant with New England – has done a spectacular job in his two seasons with Penn State despite the massive NCAA sanctions set fourth on the school. Reports surfaced Thursday evening that he (O’Brien) would agree to an interview with the Houston Texans but like Kelly it’s still unclear if he’d actually leave State College to return to the NFL. Nonetheless he’s going to be one of the biggest targets this offseason for teams looking to high a new head coach.
Finally, Tony Dungy is another name that’s been mentioned in the past when it comes to taking over the Lions’ head coaching job. Dungy though who retired from coaching after the 2008 season with Indianapolis seems content with his NBC broadcasting job and has no plans to return to the NFL sidelines.
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) December 21, 2013
Being a Michigan native it seems like the Dungy to the Lions rumors might be a little more persistent even though that doesn’t really carry merit with him.