The latest test candidate to go before the press was Miami Linebackers coach Todd Bowles. he sounded okay, but seemed more of a Marinelli type -- a position coach focused on system. As the HC Schwartz had it right that you are coaching the coaches 6 days, and managing the game on Sunday's. You have to have coordinators you can trust.
On the other hand, if they were to introduce Schwartz as HC and Bowles as DC I can't say I would be disappointed with that. Don't overlook that for Bowles that would still be a promotion, and a better chance at further advancement. Other teams are considering him, but he is considered to be a long shot for all the openings he has interviewed for -- including Detroit.
I thought Spagnuolo did not call a great game against the Eagles, and he has been a DC for two years. Not near as much experience == and that small window makes it hard to tell if it's the coach or the players. Shcwartz has 8 years as a DC to hang his hat on, as well as widely differing talent over that time.
I can see, as I've mentioned a few times, the Lions being able to make an adjustment to a 3-4 base D this ifseason based on their acquisitions.
Linebacker: Right now, Avril would shift to OLB/pass rushing, Simms would stay at OLB and Dizon would be a fit for ILB in the 3-4. That puts them needing an ILB in the draft. That is what they need now, only it is easier to find a solid 3-4 ILB than it is to find a T2 MLB. They already have the hardest LB position to get in a 3-4: Pass rushing OLB. Avril would star at that position.
Secondary: The secondary depends more on man coverages, and the safeties are often used to blitz or stop the run. The Lions already have Alexander, who I thought was building on an excellent rookie campaign -- and Bullocks who played quite well, and is developing into one heck of a great safety. Kelvin Pearson was a solid 3rd S, and excellent on Special Teams which is important. At CB Keith Smith did well before he got injured (when they used him right in man coverage, which he is really starting to get solid at). He is not a star, but a viable NFL starter when used right. If they keep Bodden, and put him in man coverage on the top WR, they will be fine if they can get any kind of pressure on the opposing QB. Bodden is a man coverage guy, and worth keeping. IF fisher is kept, it should be purely as a Nickel-Back. I'd rather see the Lions pick up a CB in the draft. At S if Alexander recovers, they are fine bringing in some UDFA, and FA for the 4th safety spot if needed. A Greg Blue run-stopper ST player would be the preference there.
Dline: At DE -- IAF, White, Redding, and even Fluellen are all solid run/pass 3-4 DE's --- which are usually heavier than 4-3 DE's, but lighter than 4-3 tackles. The Lions have those tweeners, and they should all excel if used properly in a 3-4. White could even come from the OLB spots on pass rush at times, as could IAF. At DT/NT -- I think that Cohen, though a bit light for a 3-4 NT could do well there if given the chance. He could also slide out to DE on running downs, and provide a heck of run stopping line with Cohen, Redding, and Fluellen up front. I still think that if they are going to a 3-4, the key position they need is a big, run stuffing DT to eat up space at the NT spot.
That puts the Lions needing: 1 NT, 1 CB and 1 ILB on defense to get a basic unit together. They have 5 picks in the first three rounds -- throw in that they need a G (I'd say in the 3rd) on offense and that still leaves 1 pick out of those first 5, and gives lots of flexibility. You would still need to use a later pick or two on a flier for an additional CB/Returner, another LB, and possibly another Safety or S/LB hybrid like Campbell was supposed to be in the 7th last year.
As we saw from Fluellen and Avril last year, and other picks in Rd 3 -- there are good ILB, CB, G and DT available in RD 3 that would be good building blocks and contribute right away --- with 2 good 3rd rounders (1st and 18th in that round) this give the Lions much more flexibility in not having to reach in rounds 1 and 2.
If the Lions announced tomorrow the new coaching staff was:
HC - Schwartz
DC - Bowles
OC - B. Shottenheimer
I would be happy with that. Your thoughts??