Nov 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (93) hugs defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati won 41-20. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions Not Interested in Mike Zimmer?


Reports surfaced today that the Detroit Lions have asked the Cincinnati Bengals for permission to interview their offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. But Gruden isn’t the only Cincinnati coordinator expected to draw interest from teams looking for a new head coach. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has a solid track record but is still looking for his first shot as head coach. Three teams have reportedly expressed interest, the Lions not among them:

The Lions indicated early in the process that they didn’t have a preference whether the next coach came from an offensive or defensive background. As the process has played out so far, the only defensive-minded coach they seem to have shown interest in was Lovie Smith, who has already been hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With Zimmer considered a strong head coaching candidate, it would be a curious move for the Lions to skip him in the initial interview process. Any candidate with a defensive background would surely have to articulate a detailed plan for addressing the offensive side of the ball, particularly as it relates to Matthew Stafford. With connections to Bengals assistant Hue Jackson, that wouldn’t seem to be a reason to exclude Zimmer from an interview.

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