The Detroit Lions are going to have to turn to Plan B.
Ken Whisenhunt, considered the Lions’ top choice to be their new coach, has opted to take the Tennessee Titans’ job instead of coming to Detroit.
It’s a slap in the face to the Lions, who believed they had the most attractive opening this year because of talent the likes of Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh and Matthew Stafford.
Whisenhunt, the San Diego Chargers’ offensive coordinator and a former Super Bowl coach with the Arizona Cardinals, had seemed like a slam-dunk for Detroit, but he had other ideas in the end.
Having lost out on him, the Lions are now expected to turn to one of the three other coaches they’ve interviewed.
Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell has a resume similar to Whisenhunt, in that he has been a head coach in the league and took the Indianapolis Colts to the Super Bowl in his first year after replacing Tony Dungy.
Caldwell has worked with high-profile quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco. The Lions have been targeting coaches who could help energize Stafford, whose turnovers in the second half of the season were a big reason they didn’t make the playoffs.
Caldwell had a 26-22 record in three years with the Colts but got fired when they won only two games in 2011 when Manning missed the season because of an injury.
The other top possibilities are former Titans coach Mike Munchak and former Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak.