After the loss to the New York giants the Lions have once again failed to make themselves a playoff team. With the loss there are multiple reports and growing speculation that Jim Schwartz could be on the way out as the Head coach for the Detroit Lions.
According to reports by ESPN, the Lions have already been searching for replacements. The Detroit Lions initial search has taken them to Happy Valley, Pennsylvania and Head Coach Bill O’Brien.
O’Brien’s first head coaching job began nat Penn State after taking over the scandalized program. although this is O’Briens first go around as head coach, he has an impressive NFL pedigree which includes being a member of the Bill Belichick coaching tree.
O’Brien also has experience coaching elite QB’s. A skill that might help turning the Lions fledgling franchise quarterback in the right direction.
O’Brien was Tom Brady’s QB coach with the Patriots in 2009 and 2010. This season at Penn State he has overseen the development of freshman Christian Hackenberg. So if fans are looking for a QB guru to help Matthew Stafford, O’Brien may fit the mold.
But is Bill O’Brien ready to make the jump back into the NFL. Sources say he loves Penn State but he recently renegotiated his contract to include a smaller buyout of his Penn State contract should an NFL team come calling.
One Penn State official said Bill O’Brien’s rep recently approached the school about potential reducing his NFL buyout even further.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 22, 2013
An NFL team would only have to pay $6.48 million to get O’Brien from the Nittany Lions. A reduction from $19.33 according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. That makes a buyout form an NFL team much more likely.
If the Lions want O’Brien they will have some competition. As the offseason approaches O’Brien is the hot name among available coaching candidates.