Jan 12, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt in the first half against the Denver Broncos during the 2013 AFC divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Denver defeated San Diego 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions Whiffed Big Time on Ken Whisenhunt

How they screwed it up is a mystery, but the Detroit Lions can rest assured they took another hit to their title hopes by not getting Ken Whisenhunt.

Tennessee Titans steal Whisenhunt following exit from NFL playoffs

Picking a head coach may seem anticlimactic at times, but it can often mean the difference between rebuilding and contending.  Too many times teams with great talent have been undone because their coaching staff simply can’t utilize them to the best of their abilities.  Anybody who watched Detroit in 2013 saw a team ready for a Super Bowl run but for one reason or another just kept finding ways to lose important games.  It was becoming clear that former coach Jim Schwartz couldn’t get the job done and that the Lions needed somebody who could.  If any team might have their pick of any potential coach on the open market, it should’ve been them.  Who wouldn’t want to inherit a core of players like Matthews Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley?  Apparently more than originally thought.  Detroit had their eyes on a specific name from almost the beginning.  Ken Whisenhunt had a very successful run in Arizona which included come seconds away from a Super Bowl title before heading to San Diego and helping turn around a listless Chargers offense.  It seemed like the perfect marriage.  That is until the Tennessee Titans stole their thunder, signing him to be their next head coach instead.  Once again, the Lions somehow blew a golden opportunity.

Jim Caldwell doesn’t have the track record of Whisenhunt

Already rumors have cropped up that Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell is next on the list.  Like Whisenhunt he got a team to the Super Bowl in 2009 but one must argue he did so with a veteran team built by his predecessor Tony Dungy.  Caldwell was fired after just two seasons as the head man in Indianapolis before he resurrected his stock in Baltimore by helping Joe Flacco win the Super Bowl.  One can understand why interest is high, it’s also important to understand that Caldwell is not Ken Whisenhunt.  Throughout his time in Arizona, Whisenhunt proved to be an excellent evaluator of coaching talent.  Todd Haley was his offensive coordinator during the Super Bowl run and became a head coach in Kansas City.  Ray Horton then came in as defensive coordinator and built one of the finest units in the NFL.  The only area that he simply couldn’t solve was quarterback.  Caldwell had the quarterback in Peyton Manning and still didn’t get it done.  Put simply, Tennessee may have pulled off the coup of the off-season while the Detroit Lions, as usual, are left scratching their heads about what went wrong.

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Tags: Detroit Lions Jim Caldwell Ken Whisenhunt NFL San Diego Chargers Tennessee Titans

  • Gunnar Martin

    He probably just didn’t want to live in the dump that is the city of Detroit. But Lions fans, don’t be too disappointed about missing out on him. He’ll screw you over with mind-boggling playcalling when it counts the most.

    • arnie

      Like passing three times on the goal line, when the opposing defense can’t stop the run?

  • Al

    nflmocks? Was this article supposed to be funny?

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  • beechstlefty

    Not sure that your article makes much sense other than you love Whisenhunt. Neither Caldwell or Whisenhunt actually won their Super Bowl so they are equal there. That Caldwell “couldn’t get it done with Manning” is overstating things since he had Manning just one year and did at least play in the Super Bowl. Given that Stafford is Detroit’s biggest puzzle and that Caldwell specifically works well with QB’s while Whisenhunt doesn’t, it sure seems like Caldwell is the better fit here.