On Saturday, Nov. 28 the Detroit Lions made the best move of their entire season in over three years and now look for a new leader.
The Lions announced that former head coach Matt Patricia and former general manager Bob Quinn were fired and relieved from duties with the team. With this announcement, Sheila Ford-Hamp the owner of the Lions announced that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell would be interim head coach until they found a new candidate.
Bevell has been in the National Football League since 2006 and been an offensive coordinator his enter tenure however, he will not be the head coach for the Lions. However, Bevell hopefully sticks around in Detroit the best options for a new leader for the Lions would have to be Robert Saleh, or Eric Bieniemy.
Saleh is currently the defensive coordinator for the San Fransico 49ers and who better than Saleh to get the job as the new leader for the Lions. Saleh is 41 years old and from Dearborn, Michigan. Saleh has been a Lions fan his entire life and known as a player’s coach who has built a niners defense that proves each week they are legit. His time in San Fransico has shown he can make a defense from scratch. Saleh helped lead the 49ers to the Superbowl in 2020 however they lost but that adds motivation for him to get back and win. What better way to do that then with his favorite team and as the head coach.
Saleh’s defensive back Richard Sherman said, “you have to give coach Saleh an unusual amount of credit.”
Saleh has led the 49er to a top five defense each week and Sherman went on to say that his coach is a leader of men. Sherman would be shocked if Saleh wasn’t a head coach next year. Saleh doesn’t make excuses, but game plans and rallies his team as a leader and these quotes from his own player show that. It will be tough to not fight for Saleh to be the Lions new head coach.
However, there will be other options if Saleh lands elsewhere in the league, and the next option the Lions need to pay attention to, should be the Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. With Kansas City show casing one of the best offensives each year it’s interesting to see what Bieniemy can really do without Andy Reid. Bieniemy was also in the Superbowl last year against Saleh’s defense and beat them by 11 points as 21 of Kansas City points came in the fourth quarter as they posted 31 total points in the Superbowl.
Bieniemy has been on the head coaching radar for a few years and after this season it will be a watch fest for where he ends up. 2021 will be a high chance for many new head coaches. Between Bieniemy and Saleh the recommendation would lean towards Saleh as Detroit needs a new identity. Who better than a lifelong fan who understands what the Lions have been through to come in and repave this team to new life. Anyone at this point is better than what Matt Patricia did in three years at Ford field as he was 13-29-1 as a head coach.
As the general manager positions up for grabs in Detroit the biggest name that sticks out is Ed Dodds who was a part of Seattle when the Legion of Boom was created. Dodds was a big factor when Seattle assembled the Legion of Boom that won two super bowls. Dodds right now is the assistant general manager of the Indianapolis Colts and works heavily close to Chris Ballard who it the Colts general manager.
Dodds has been a part of decision-making meetings that have involved players that were drafted high and low such as Marlon Mack, Malik Hooker, Quenton Nelson, Daruis Leonard, and even had a part with the Colts adding Justin Houston. Dodds has a tandem on each side of the ball for the NFL and can help the Lions step towards the right direction. Dodds can enter his tenure in Detroit with multiple years of experience and correct the ship Patricia and Quinn rocked into the iceberg.
The Lions have five games left in the season and while it looks like their playoff hopes are all but gone, they still have a chance no matter how small. Regardless to this season the Lions will look to hire the best candidate for the job and Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said she would do everything she can to bring a winner to Detroit.
Ford-Hamp cannot afford to wait as long as Martha Ford did when she was the owner of the Lions to produce a winning team. Ford-Hamp will have to be strict in what the team’s direction should be and not budge until results are shown with the Lions winning games.
As the 2020 season ends keep a close eye on what the Detroit Lions do for the 2021 season and hopefully it will be better than the last three years of torture under Patricia and Quinn.