Updated 12:53 PM EST, Sat, Nov 27, 2021

NFL News 2014: Detroit Lions Sign Jim Caldwell, Tennessee Titans Go With Ken Whisenhunt

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The Detroit Lions and the Tennessee Titans filled their coaching vacancies on Tuesday, with the Lions hiring Baltimore Raven offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell and the Titans signing San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.

Whisenhunt, who was 45-51 in his only stint as National Football League (NFL) head coach with the Arizona Cardinals, taking them to the Super Bowl XL and compiling a 4-2 record in the playoffs, replaces Mike Munchak, who was let go by the Titans after finishing 7-9 last season, and credited his chemistry with general manager Ruston Webster for signing with Tennessee.

"Detroit and Cleveland both, great organizations, but I think what it came down to was you have to feel comfortable about the direction that you're going and who you're doing it with," said Whisenhunt. "I think one of the things that I've learned in my time in the NFL is that chemistry is an important part of this. When you feel like you have that chemistry and you're excited about it, that plays a big part in it."

Whisenhunt turned down Detroit, who wanted an offensive-minded coach that can help with further developing QB Matthew Stafford, and turned to Caldwell, who has worked with Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco. Caldwell went 26-22 in three seasons as Indianapolis Colts head coach from 2009 to 2011, and has won Super Bowl rings as an assistant with the Colts and Ravens.

The Lions fired Jim Schwartz at the end of the season, after failing to win the NFC North division despite starting the season 6-3 (losing six of their last seven games to end the year) and injuries to division rival quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler.

"We think we've come a long way and Coach Schwartz brought us a long way, but we think it's time for somebody who can put us over the hump and take us to the next step," said Lions GM Martin Mayhew.

The Cleveland Browns, who have been spurned by Whisenhunt and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels - who told informed the team he was not interested in the job after meeting with the team, are now looking at Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, who is not expected to do interviews until after the Broncos are eliminated from the postseason.

Cleveland needs a head coach after firing Rob Chudzinski, who was 4-12 in his first and only season with the team, and has also interviewed Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, but may have difficulty filling the job with potential candidates calling Chudzinski for his opinion on the Browns office. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports that Chudzinski has been very candid about his experience with the Cleveland franchise, saying that owner Jimmy Haslam, CEO Joe Banner and GM Michael Lombardi are not on the same page.

The Minnesota Vikings was also looking to fill their head coaching position after firing Leslie Frazier following a 5-10-1 record this year and appear to be ready to sign Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, according to ESPNThe Vikings were looking for a defensive-minded coach during their search after a season in which they gave up the second-most yards and the most points in the league. Zimmer helped guide the Bengals defense to the top 10 in yards and points allowed four out of the last five seasons.

The Vikings lost out on former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, who signed with Washington Redskins after they fired Mike Shanahan for going 3-13 a year removed from winning the NFC East title. Washington hopes that Gruden can do for their offense what he did for the Bengals, finishing this season 10th in yards gained (368.2 per game) and tied for sixth in points scored (26.9 per game) in the regular season.

"If you look at his resume, it's broad, it's deep," said Washington's general manager Bruce Allen. "He's done every job in football. "He has a credible resume. His passion is contagious. He's a great people person and he's always been that."

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