Tony Dungy on Lions: “That’s the job I would want”

January 3, 2014

Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions’ offensive weapons are two reasons Tony Dungy would take the Detroit Lions job over all the others. (Jim Mone / AP)

Tony Dungy is content in his job with NBC, but if he wanted to come back to coaching, there’s one NFL job that he’d take over all the others that are open.

“I will tell you this, I think the best job out there is the Detroit Lions,” Dungy said Friday morning on “The Dan Patrick Show.” “That’s the job I would want.”

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans have hired coaches, but vacancies remain with the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns and — Detroit Lions. The Post’s Insider readers may have rated the Redskins’ and Lions’ jobs as about equally attractive in an unofficial poll, but Dungy didn’t hesitate to pick the Lions’ gig.

“I think they’re closest to the Super Bowl,” Dungy said. “You look for a franchise quarterback in this day and age, you want to have a passing game because this game is all about passing, and you want people who can rush the passer and protect the lead.

“Detroit’s got all that.”

Matthew Stafford was third in the NFL in total passing yards and in yards per game this season (behind Peyton Manning and Drew Brees), although he was erratic at times and the Lions finished 7-9.

“You throw in two really good tight ends, a couple running backs who can make things happen,” Dungy said. “They’ve got everything they need.”

Dungy also liked what he saw in the NFL North, where the division champion won eight games. And then there’s the matter of, ahem, interfering owners.

“And you’ve got an owner who doesn’t meddle. He’s not going to come in and tell you, ‘Play this guy, cut this guy, draft this guy.’ It’s a perfect situation. If I was ever coming back, it would be for that job.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · January 3, 2014