Interview No. 3 is in the books.
The Detroit Lions have completed their third interview for the head coaching vacancy. A day after interviewing both Jim Bob Cooter and Teryl Austin for the job, the team announced that Houston Texans Defensive Coordinator Mike Vrabel has finished his interview with Lions management.
The #Lions have completed a head coaching interview with Houston Texans Defensive Coordinator Mike Vrabel.— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 3, 2018
Detroit Free Press beat writer Dave Birkett is reporting that Vrabel is considered one of two favorites for the job, along with Patriots Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia.
Earlier in the day, Vrabel got a huge endorsement from the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain. “I’m on my 39th year of covering the NFL and Mike, as an assistant coach, has got head coach written all over him more than anybody I’ve ever covered,” McClain told local Detroit sports radio hosts Jamie Samuelsen and Mike Stone.
Vrabel is coming off his first year as Texans coordinator after serving as their linebackers coach for three season. The Texans were the worst scoring defense in 2017 by far, but were hindered by a ton of injuries. J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and Brian Cushing all missed a significant portion of the season, along with several depth players.
Now that Vrabel’s interview is complete, the Lions have one more reported interview on the docket. Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will reportedly meet with the Lions on Thursday before he interviews with the Cardinals, Bears and Giants later in the week.
The Lions have also expressed interest in Patricia, Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilk, and Packers linebacker coach Winston Moss. However, there have been no reports on any scheduled interviews with these three candidates.