Ex-Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has talked to Detroit Lions about coaching job

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Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press
·2 min read
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The Detroit Lions will sit down for virtual interviews with several hotshot young coaches in the coming days, but they already have talked to at least one experienced candidate about replacing Matt Patricia as head coach.

Former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has told colleagues he has spoken with the Lions about their head coaching vacancy, multiple people who have taken part in or been informed of those conversations told the Free Press.

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Lewis led the Bengals to seven playoff appearances in 16 seasons as head coach, but was fired after his third straight losing season in 2018.

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis smiles on the sideline in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens.
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis smiles on the sideline in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens.

He did not return a call from the Free Press earlier this week.

The Lions have announced seven completed interviews for their open general manager position, with in-house candidates Kyle O’Brien, Lance Newmark and Rob Lohman, and external candidates Rick Smith, Thomas Dimitroff, Scott Pioli and Louis Riddick.

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They have not confirmed any head coaching interviews.

Lewis, 62, is one of the most seasoned candidates looking for a head coaching position this hiring cycle.

He won a Super Bowl as Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator in 2001, and went 131-122-3 with the Bengals, where he won NFL Coach of the Year honors in 2009.

Currently the co-defensive coordinator at Arizona State, Lewis took over a 2-14 Bengals team in 2003 and won eight games in his first season. He led the Bengals to four division titles and had six seasons with double-digit victories.

Last month, Lewis interviewed with the Houston Texans, the team announced Dec. 23.

The Lions and other NFL teams are expected to begin interviewing candidates currently employed by other NFL teams this week. Interim coach Darrell Bevell could formally interview for the head coaching job, and the team is interested in meeting with a wide range of candidates, including San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.

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Los Angeles Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes is among those still expected to interview for the GM job.

The Lions are one of three teams currently in the market for a head coach (along with the Texans and Atlanta Falcons), and one of six teams looking for a GM (the Texans, Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers and Washington).

They prefer to hire a candidate with previous experience for at least one of their open positions, though that is not a prerequisite for the job.

Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said in an internal email last month that she hoped to conclude both searches by mid-January.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions considering Marvin Lewis as next coach