According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who quoted sources close to the Detroit Lions, the San Diego Chargers’ Ken Whisenhunt has now moved into the top position as the potential replacement for Jim Schwartz, following very successful meetings between Whisenhunt and the Lions. Talks have also included the Cincinnati Bengals’ Jay Gruden. Both candidates are offensive coordinators, which seems to be the kind of coach the Lions intend on bringing to the table, showing a clear cut sign of a new direction following the hiring of defensive coordinator Schwartz.
Whisenhunt went to the Super Bowl as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, who at the time had an outstanding offense. He has been credited with continuing the success of the Chargers’ Philip Rivers and cultivating the Cardinals’ Kurt Warner into a top-notch quarterback. Both never had the arm that Matthew Stafford has, and both were older when Whisenhunt took over. Imagine the potential with Stafford’s age, arm strength, and the weapons on offense. This season, under Whisenhunt, the Chargers put up numbers that were highly unexpected from a team lacking offensive prowess, despite having Rivers.
With Whisenhunt at the top of the list, it seems it is his job to lose. Details will filter out eventually, but it seems Whisenhunt is a perfect fit. If he does not choose to go to the Lions, it would only be because of a better offer somewhere else, since he doesn’t have major ties to the Chargers. If he wants the job, the Lions will likely give it to him. If that happens, expect the Lions to put up better offensive numbers in 2014.