The Lions are very high on Saints assistant head coach Dan Campbell, per league sources, and are likely to wait for his season to end before finalizing a deal with him. Interim head coach Darrell Bevell has also earned serious consideration for the position, sources said, and it is not out of the realm of possibility he gets the job, though that would likely require talks with Campbell to falter.
Campbell, 44, previously served as interim head coach in Miami and played tight end in the NFL. The Saints' staff is bracing for his departure at this point, league sources said, expecting to have to fill his position in the offseason. Campbell went 5-7 with the Dolphins in 2015 and has been with New Orleans since, getting high marks from head coach Sean Payton, who has told other teams he believes Campbell is ready to run his own team.
Campbell was a favorite of Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells going back to his playing days -- Campbell spent 10 years in the NFL -- and spent several years in Detroit (2006-2008) shortly before making the transition to the coaching ranks. He began as a coaching intern with Miami in 2010, where Parcells was executive vice president of football operations, and has an keen understanding of what it is like to play in the league and relate to this generation of players given how recently he played.
The Lions have generally eschewed hiring coaches and executives with previous experience, going with mostly first timers since the mid-1990s, in a trend that most certainly will continue to hold. New general manager Brad Holmes has no prior experience in that role, serving as college scouting director with the Rams, while Campbell has never led a team through the offseason and full regular season as a head coach. While it is conceivable the Lions could reach out to other candidates still in the playoffs for other interviews -- like Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, for instance, who worked with Holmes in Los Angeles -- that is not expected at this time.