5 potential head coaches the Detroit Lions are glad they chose Dan Campbell over in 2021

It's easy to evaluate it now based on results, but the Detroit Lions knew Dan Campbell was an ideal fit to be their next head coach and they don't regret passing on these 5 other candidates.

/ Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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2. Todd Bowles

Bowles was a candidate for the Lions' head coaching job back in 2021, as he was back in 2009 also. He later said the Lions cancelled the interview he had scheduled for Jan. 15, 2021, two days before Tampa Bay's playoff win over the New Orleans Saints (a loss which made Campbell, the Saints' tight ends coach, freely available to be hired, as it were).

"I never got to interview," Bowles said. "I think they didn’t feel like waiting. They had their mind made up."

That comment from Bowles points to flaws in the head coaching hiring process that, even with recent changes, still exists. Coordinators for teams who go deep in the playoffs have natural conflicts.

Five days after that scheduled interview with Bowles was apparently cancelled, the news came that Campbell was the Lions' hire.

Bowles is a top-end defensive mind in the NFL. His record as a head coach is more mixed though, with a 41-57 record and two winning seasons over six total seasons as a permanent head coach with the Buccaneers and the New York Jets.

Bowles is a good coach, he's just not a great head coach with plenty of evidence to back it up (no, not including his decision to not use his last timeout in the playoff loss to the Lions). It's also clear the Lions needed someone like Campbell, more than someone who's more reserved like Bowles is, if they were going to turn things around as quickly as they have.