DETROIT -- Ken Whisenhunt has a busy few days ahead.
The San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator begins a string of three interviews in as many days when he meets a contingent of Detroit Lions front-office executives Friday night in California.
Whisenhunt is scheduled to sit down with the Tennessee Titans on Friday and the Cleveland Browns on Saturday, then Sunday he'll call plays for a Chargers team that's two wins away from the Super Bowl.
But with Whisenhunt's future and present colliding at a weird intersection in the NFL calendar, the leading candidate to be the next Lions coach told reporters in San Diego today that he's focused only on Sunday's AFC divisional-round playoff game against the Denver Broncos.
"The only thing that's important to me, to be perfectly honest with you, is getting prepared for this game and that's the work that has got my focus right now," Whisenhunt said. "Everything else is secondary."
Whisenhunt did his best to deflect reporters' questions about his future and anything not related to Sunday's game during an 11-minute interview after practice Friday.
He wouldn't answer how he's split his time preparing for multiple interviews and game-planning for the Broncos this week, and he laughed when asked if he bought or is renting the house he's been living in since joining the Chargers a year ago next week.
"I've enjoyed living here," Whisenhunt said.
The Lions interviewed Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, former Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak and ex-Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak in recent days, but Whisenhunt is considered the front-runner for the job for a number of reasons.
He went 45-51 in six seasons as Arizona Cardinals coach, won a Super Bowl calling plays as offensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and has a long and successful history of working with quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner and Philip Rivers.
Rivers completed a career-best 69.5 percent of his passes this year, and the Chargers finished with the league's fifth-best offense en route to a wild-card berth.
They won four straight games to close the regular season and handed the Cincinnati Bengals their first home loss of the season last week, 27-10.
"I think he's done an outstanding job with the football team and the offense of adjusting to the scheme," Chargers coach Mike McCoy said in his press conference today. "It's not just him, it's the whole entire offensive staff. I think when we first sat down, putting everything together, I think it's important that on good staffs everyone has an opinion and there's got to be a decision maker and he's done an outstanding job, as the entire offensive staff has, of putting plans together week in and week out and the players respect what he does. He's not only a football coach, but he's a great person."
McCoy said he has "complete confidence" that Whisenhunt has been focused on the Broncos this week, and it doesn't come as much surprise that Whisenhunt is on track for a promotion this early in his tenure with the Chargers.
"I think anytime you have success in this business that good things happen," McCoy said. "And I think that when players perform at a certain level, coaches are recognized for that and you're given an opportunity."
The Lions hope to wrap up their search in the coming days, but if Whisenhunt is their choice, they can't hire him until the Chargers' season ends.
Whisenhunt told the Free Press last week the competitive part of him wants to be a head coach again. But if a long playoff run throws a wrench in those plans, that's OK, too.
He said today San Diego's late-season run reminds him of trips he made to the Super Bowl with the Steelers in 2006 and the Cardinals in 2009.
"Hopefully that'll continue," he said.
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