Titans’ Schwartz could be up for Lions’ job

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 12:43am
Chris Johnson came in second in Rookie of the Year voting. File

Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s name continues to make the rounds regarding head coaching vacancies around the NFL.

The most prominent possibility to be associated with Schwartz thus far has been the Detroit Lions, who are in the process of compiling candidates and are believe to have Schwartz on their radar.

The Lions, coming off the first 0-16 season in NFL history, fired Rod Marinelli, and Schwartz is one of a handful of names believed to be in line for an interview to replace him.

NFL Network reported that the Lions had asked for permission to speak with Schwartz, however, sources in neither Nashville nor Detroit would confirm whether or not he is on the Lions’ wish list.

Efforts to reach Schwartz and his agent Jimmy Sexton were unsuccessful on Tuesday.

Schwartz’s name has popped up before in coaching searches, as he was a finalist for the San Francisco 49ers head-coaching job in 2005, losing out to Mike Nolan.

His name fell off the head-coaching radar for a couple of years, but resurfaced last year when the Titans had a top-five defense in the NFL. Schwartz was a potential candidate for openings in Atlanta, Washington and Miami, but was not hired and remained in Tennessee.

This year with the Titans having the NFL’s best record at 13-3, it was believed that Schwartz’s name would rise near the top of up-and-coming candidates without head coaching experience in the league.

The Titans are on a bye week by virtue of clinching home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, and teams would be able to interview Schwartz or any other Titans assistant this week. It is possible the Lions, who just named Tom Lewand their new CEO and Martin Mayhew their general manager, could come to Nashville to interview Schwartz, if interested.

However, if any team hired Schwartz, they could not officially announce the hiring until the Titans are finished in the playoffs either by elimination or after the Super Bowl.

SOLD OUT: The single-game seats that were available for the Tennessee Titans AFC Divisional Playoff Game on Jan. 10 at LP Field sold out in approximately three minutes Tuesday morning.

Tickets went on sale at 10 a.m.

“They went in three minutes. When you think about it, it is for one game,” Titans Executive Vice President of Administration and Facilities Don MacLachlan said. “When the single-game seats go on sale in July, those are for 10 games [regular season and preseason], and it takes a little longer. We went down to singles in about three minutes, and it wasn’t long after that that all of those were gone as well.”

In all, there were 3,900 tickets up for sale for the game in which the Titans will host Baltimore, San Diego or Indianapolis at 3:30 p.m. CST on that Saturday.

Tennessee will host the Ravens if they defeat Miami on Sunday. If the Dolphins win that game, the Titans would host the winner of Saturday’s Indianapolis-San Diego game.

Tickets were available through TicketMaster, Kroger outlets and at the LP Field box office, where a number of fans had camped out overnight hoping to purchase seats.

RYAN WINS: Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was a runaway winner in the voting for Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Ryan received 44 of the 50 votes, while Titans running back Chris Johnson was second in the balloting with three votes. Ryan helped the Falcons earn a wild-card playoff berth after being the club's first-round pick out of Boston College in April.

Ryan Clady of Denver was third in the voting and Matt Forte of Chicago was fourth.

Johnson finished the regular season with 1,228 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. He was held out of the regular-season finale Sunday at Indianapolis.

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By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Schwartz is gone. They will re-hire Williams. Heimerdinger will probably get another job too. The one person you will not see here is Mike Martz. The Titans just don't have the players for that high octane of an offense he would implement.