Top head coach candidates

Since the last time we checked in on the top replacement candidates for teams that fired their head coaches, the Houston Texans hired Bill O'Brien, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Lovie Smith and the Tennessee Titans fired Mike Munchak. That leaves us with five head coach vacancies and a slew of potential replacements. Here is a look at the top options those teams are considering:

Detroit Lions

  • Ken Whisenhunt: ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported Sunday that the Lions' job is "Whisenhunt's to lose." There are myriad reasons why the current San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator would be a good fit with the Lions, but foremost is his success at getting the most out of his quarterbacks. The next Lions coach will need to turn Matthew Stafford into a winner.

  • Jim Caldwell: For all the talk about other candidates, the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator is the only one who has actually interviewed with the Lions. Getting the most out of Stafford was a focus of his interview prep. Interestingly, Stafford met with Caldwell during the interview process.

  • Jay Gruden: Schefter confirmed that the Lions are interested in the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive coordinator, and since his team just lost to the Chargers, he may be interviewed this week.