Traverse City Record-Eagle


January 12, 2014

Sports in Brief: 01/12/2014

Appearing in studio on “NFL Total Access,” Detroit Lions veteran wide receiver Nate Burleson talked about what went wrong in the 2013 season as the Lions lost six of their last seven games and the qualifications he desires in a new head coach.

“Someone with some experience, some wisdom. Someone that can demand respect,” Burleson said, as reported by the Detroit News. “It’s not necessarily important if you were a head coach before, but just that you have years, that you have a clear understanding about the game of football.

“And the reason I say that is because you have, one, a lot of veterans. But, two, more importantly you’ve got very talented young guys. You have a Matt Stafford, you have (Ndamukong) Suh, you have Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush and these guys are elite in their talent level, but they still want to learn, they still have that yearning for it. So Calvin wants to come in every day and know that I can get better, and that’s a challenge in itself to be able to come in and have to teach the best receiver in the world.”

While Burleson said having head coaching experience isn’t a prerequisite, it appears the Lions’ brass thinks it is a necessity. Since firing coach Jim Schwartz two weeks ago, the front office has interviewed four candidates who all have head coaching experience.

The Lions interviewed Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt on Thursday night in San Diego; he was Arizona’s head coach from 2007-12. They’ve also interviewed Jim Caldwell, Ravens offensive coordinator and former Colts head coach, and Gary Kubiak and Mike Munchak, who were fired by the Texans and Titans, respectively, this season.

Burleson also explained there wasn’t one particular reason the Lions fell apart after a 6-3 start this season.

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