The Lions will interview Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel for their head coaching vacancy on Wednesday, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link), while Detroit’s meeting with Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will take place on Thursday, per Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).
In his first year as Houston’s defensive play-caller, Vrabel — who took over for veteran coach Romeo Crennel — lead the Texans to a No. 23 ranking in DVOA. While that’s not an overly impressive finish, Houston was dealing with the loss of defensive stalwarts such as J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, so Vrabel was forced to work with limited options. He’s also drawn interest from the Colts, who have requested to interview the 42-year-old coach.
Detroit put in a request earlier this week to interview Shurmur, and that proposal has evidently been granted by the division-rival Vikings. Because Minnesota has a first-round playoff bye, Shurmur is allowed to interview this week. Injuries to Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, and Dalvin Cook meant Shurmur lead an offense built around Case Keenum, Latavius Murray, and Jerick McKinnon, but the Vikings still managed to finish fifth in offensive DVOA.
Vrabel and Shurmur aren’t the only candidates the Lions are interested in, as general manager Bob Quinn & Co. has interviewed incumbent defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, incumbent offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, and Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss today. Detroit has also requested permission to interview Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.
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