The Lions are moving quickly to fill their most important vacancies.
A day after the Lions agreed to terms with their new general manager, Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell has emerged as the favorite to land Detroit's head coaching job, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.
No in-person interview can be conducted with Campbell until New Orleans' season has ended, per league rules, so his potential hire is officially on hold until then. It appears, though, as if the Lions have their sights set on Campbell, who has been with the Saints since 2016.
Campbell has head-coaching experience in a temporary role. The unheralded assistant became Miami's interim head coach in 2015, leading the Dolphins to a 5-7 mark in 12 games following the early season firing of Joe Philbin. With his NFL-sized frame (Campbell played in the league from 1999-2009), Campbell momentarily captured the attention of NFL fans with his sideline stature and Miami's unexpected boost in performance under his leadership, especially after the Dolphins had flopped to a 1-4 start to the 2015 campaign under Philbin.
Campbell has 11 seasons of NFL coaching experience, spending six in Miami and the last five in New Orleans. Known as a blocker during his playing days, Campbell's tight ends have excelled in this category, ranking fourth in run-blocking grade since 2016.
Campbell's on-field career brought him to Detroit during the franchise's worst years, including its infamous 0-16 campaign in 2008. Campbell was spared having to participate in most of that season due to a season-ending hamstring injury suffered in early September, but he at least has a familiarity with the Lions franchise, fanbase and its unsatisfied desires for success.
Detroit had an interview scheduled with Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, but after it became clear he was unlikely to receive an offer, Bowles and the Lions decided to cancel their interview, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported.
The Lions agreed to terms with Rams college scouting director Brad Holmes to become their next general manager, the team announced Thursday.