I have a really hard time with this question. Everyone out there is going to be someone with major question marks.
First off, this is based on the assumption that Sheila actually pulls the trigger on both Quinn and Patricia. She should, but she should have already done it. Knowing the Ford family, I wouldn’t be shocked if they have Quinn one more try to bring in another coach. I’d pray not, but again, Ford family. Stupid is what they do.
Assuming both get fired, and house cleaning takes place, to answer the OP question I would like to see a more defensive minded head coach. Yes, I totally understand that’s what Schwartz was supposed to be and what Patricia was alleged to be. Both proved they are probably better coordinators than head coaches.
I have to admit that Toub intrigues me, in the sense that Andy Reid saw him as a good enough coach to recruit him originally in Philly, and then again in KC. Toub also had success in Chicago outside of Andy Reid, so this isn’t a coat tails thing. I forgot who said it on here, but someone pointed out how Special Teams coaches have to work with both offensive and defensive guys and that may be why someone like a John Harbaugh has had so much success. He doesn’t specialize at one thing, he had to work with everyone.
I also still feel it’s important to hire the GM first, and I truly have no clue where to go here. Any GM with good experience rebuilding a team from dirt is hired and locked up long term already. I don’t even know what tree you want to pick from, since it’s easy to say any guy you get could just have been a small cog under so and so, but not the actual decision maker. I want the GM and the coach to be in sync. I know Quinn/Patricia was supposed to be that, but I think we had the right situation, just the wrong guys executing it. I would still stick to the formula of bringing in your GM who has experience building a losing organization and then turning him over the keys 100% to let him pick his head coaches, coordinators, everything.
Now, I am going to put myself out there, peek in my crystal ball and see if I can guess what the Lions really do. I want to see how close I am to guessing the Lions ownership next move. This is all 100% speculation on my part and idle musing, so feel free to skip past this.
My gut is telling me that if the Lions clean house, the next head coach is going to be black. Before anyone goes nuts, the reason I say that is because the Lions are desperately trying to do everything they can to push a narrative that they are on the forefront of the social injustice mess. They also are desperate to get good press and generate warm and fuzzies with the media about how hey are the franchise that is willing to take risks to give people chances. With Patricia being the mess that he is and brought with him, the Lions are desperate to make sure the new head coach will be someone that people won’t question from a personal standpoint. I also think they are desperate to hire someone who has some credentials to his name as a selling point for media and fans for next year. To me, the Ford’s have always leaned towards offensive guys. Their wet dream is what Irsay did in Indy with Peyton Manning. Build a superstar offense so that way you can entertain people, and if the cards line up, win a Super Bowl.
My first guess would be Eric Bieniemy is their target. He fits all of my above criteria. He worked under Andy Reid and was the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, so there are your credentials. I think the Ford family is DESPERATE to keep Stafford in Detroit, and keep him happy, so bringing in an offensive coach might be the best way to do that. Also, if Stafford and the Lions do have a mutual and amicable parting, the Lions will probably be drafting QB first and Bieniemy can pick his next Mahomes and mold him like they did in KC. My biggest questions on Bieniemy, he was terrible as a college HC, including on offense. Andy Reid may have Bieniemy as OC, but he also still runs most of the offense. Andy Reid has always had successful offenses. Bieniemy has not.
My 2nd guess would be Robert Saleh. He brings credentials, and he has Michigan and Dearborn ties. Feel good story that writes itself. He is a defensive guy, but his hometown ties might be too much to pass up. My biggest thing is, Mooch had Michigan ties too, and how did that work out? How about Harbaugh coming back home to Michigan, how’s that gone? Charles Rodgers was drafted over Andre Johnson since he was a Saginaw/Michigan State guy. Saleh has coached under some good staffs, but how would he do on his own?
I will say I am intrigued by Todd Bowles as well. I know he didn’t work out well with the Jets, but he turns out some good defenses. It would be worth looking at. Maybe he is just another guy in the long list who is a much better coordinator than a HC. It’s very common. I think it’s possible Fangio gets fired as HC in Denver, and I would bring him to Detroit as a DC in a heartbeat.
We will see what happens of course. I have a 1% reason to believe that the Ford Family will get it right. That all hinges on if Shiela truly does go after a football guy to run the team, and LET’S HIM RUN IT. I am sick of the mantra that the Ford family doesn’t meddle with the team, when it is abundantly clear that they do. Martha did it to Quinn at his introductory press conference when she declared to the world “I love Jim Caldwell.” I mean, Quinn is free to make the decisions, but let me say it for everyone to hear, I LOVE JIM CALDWELL. Sure, Quinn’s first order of business is going to be to replace Caldwell when the owner just told the world that she wants him here. That’s meddling. How about the QB situation? Quinn was the only GM allowed to draft a QB, and it was WAY down the totem pole. The Lions wouldn’t even bring in a backup to compete with him. That was entirely the Ford family, and not wanting to repeat the days of Rodney Peete vs. Erik Kramer vs. Andre Ware, or Joey vs. Garcia, etc. They didn’t want anyone challenging or threatening Stafford. They don’t even bench the guy when he is having a horrible game, which happens to every single pro out there. That’s kid glove treatment at it’s finest.
We will see what happens of course. I will step off the soapbox for now.