After a disappointing season in which the Detroit Lions let go of the lead in the NFC North and ultimately missed the postseason, they waived goodbye to head coach Jim Schwartz. There is no question it was the correct decision to make, as Detroit continually underachieved over the past couple of seasons.
One of the main priorities in Detroit’s search for a new coach, now, is a guy that can work with quarterback Matthew Stafford and help him become the type of player they feel he has the potential to be. Over Stafford’s last six games of the season, he threw 11 interceptions and had three games with a quarterback rating of 62.0 or below.
The top candidate for Detroit, at the moment, appears to be San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. This past season, Whisenhunt helped quarterback Philip Rivers to one of his best years as a pro. On Sunday, the Chargers took down the Cincinnati Bengals in a wildcard matchup as they absolutely dominated one of the league’s best defenses.
According to sources at ESPN, the job “is Whisenhunt’s to lose” at this point. There will be competition for the offensive coordinator, but sources have also said that he views Detroit as the most attractive job. Put two and two together, and Whisenhunt appears on his way to Detroit very shortly.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 2, 2014
The match between Detroit and Whisenhunt could not be any better. When he was with the Arizona Cardinals as their head coach, Whisenhunt helped veteran Kurt Warner revive his career and the two even made a Super Bowl appearance together. Could we see another sort of magical postseason run out of the Chargers this season?
In any event, Stafford would benefit most out of this potential hiring. He’s had the arm strength, but has lacked the ability to make consistently good decisions — especially when it matters most. The Lions have an offense capable of putting 30-plus points on the board on any given day, but Whisenhunt would be the key in generating those points on a regular basis.