Detroit Lions coaching search: 6 names to watch

Lions look for new head coach after firing Caldwell

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 31: New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia looks on during the first half against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

DETROIT – The Detroit Lions have fired head coach Jim Caldwell.

The win Sunday against the Green Bay Packers didn't stop General Manager Bob Quinn from making the decision and the Lions made the announcement Monday morning.

Quinn is kicking off his coaching search immediately and rumors are already flying around the league.

Here are six names to watch as the Lions look for a new coach:

New England Patriots Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia

Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Patricia would interview for the Lions job with the obvious ties to former Patriots personnel guy Bob Quinn. 

Patricia hasn't had groundbreaking numbers as a defensive coach, but they have been solid with the Patriots. Former Patriots coordinators becoming head coaches hasn't been a sure-fire success in the NFL, but Patricia looks to be in line for a job somewhere  - even if it's not in Detroit.

It's also worth noting that Patricia is reportedly going to interview with the Giants and Cardinals, along with the Lions.

Houston Texans Defensive Coordinator Mike Vrabel

Vrabel is a former Patriots linebacker turned coach who has found success in Houston. Vrabel is a younger coaching option at only 42 years old, but ask the Rams - age doesn't matter much these days.

Vrabel is a head coach in waiting - if he doesn't get hired this offseason, he'll surely be next up.

The Indianapolis Colts are also interested in Vrabel. 

Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin

Yes, it's possible the Lions could hire from within. Austin has been one of the best coordinators in the league for the last few years, turning a historically bad defense into one of the strengths of the team and finding talent in the draft.

Austin is interviewing for the open gig but it's not clear if Austin will stay on with the Lions if the team decides to hire from outside.

Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur

Shurmur, an Ann Arbor native and former Spartan football player, has turned the Minnesota offense into a serious weapon - with Case Keenum.

Shurmur was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2016 and had a brief head coaching stint with the Browns back in 2011.

The Bears and Cardinals are also reportedly interested in Shurmur.

Carolina Panthers Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks

Wilks is in only his first season as Panthers DC, but the team's huge rebound from last season has teams thinking he could be their guy.

Wilks is drawing interest from the Bears, Colts, Giants and Lions. 

Wilks has been coaching in the NFL since 2006, where he was the defensive backs coach in Chicago. 

Green Bay Packers Assistant Head Coach Winston Moss

Moss, who survived the Packers coaching purge this week when the team fired Don Capers, Mike Trgovac and Scott McCurley, has emerged as a possible replace for Jim Caldwell.

Moss has been a linebacker coach since 2006 and has been an assistant head coach since 2007.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.