DETROIT – With Saturday’s announcement of Detroit Lions General Manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia being fired, the question now is “Where do the Lions go from here?”
Although interviews will wait until the season is over, the research for potential head coaches will begin immediately.
And there will be some familiar names on the list.
One name brought up for every vacant NFL job is Nick Saban. While he has had enormous success at Alabama, not so much as an NFL coach in Miami. He didn’t get along well with his players -- a problem the Lions don’t want to repeat.
Jim Harbaugh’s name will come up. While he is struggling at the University of Michigan, Harbaugh has had great success as an NFL coach with the San Francisco 49ers. However, that was a long time ago, and he probably remains determined to turn things around at his alma mater.
There are two likely candidates for the Lions head coaching job. Eric Bieniemy, who is the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs and known as a great motivator of young players. Last year, Bieniemy interviewed for several head coaching jobs.
A move to Detroit would be a homecoming for the other top candidate, Robert Saleh, defensive coordinator in San Francisco. Saleh grew up in Dearborn and local friends would love to see him come home.
For both Bieniemy and Saleh, this would be a first head coaching job, a great opportunity with a team that has no place to go but up.