Wide Receivers Coach: Shawn Jefferson.
Shawn Jefferson took over the wide receiver coaching position from Kippy Brown. Kippy Brown was in the position for 2 years after taking over for Fred Graves. I only bring up Fred Graves because I always laugh when I think about him trying to help the receivers become better by having them catch bricks. That's right, bricks.
Shawn is a former NFL player who spent thirteen years in the league after being drafted by the Houston Oilers in the 9th round of the 1991 Draft (that's right....9th round). He played in two Superbowls in his career. One with the San Diego Chargers (1995) and another with the New England Patriots (1997). Unfortunately for him, his team lost both times. in his 13 year NFL career he had 470 receptions for 7,023 yards and 29 touchdowns. Not great numbers, but not horrible. His last year in the NFL was 2003, which he spent with the Lions.
After retiring as a player, Jefferson jumped right into coaching. In 2004 he was a volunteer coach at his former high school. After spending the following summer at the Jacksonville Jaguars scouting seminar he become a coaching intern for the Lions. He took over the wide receiver coaching position in 2008.
Here is an excerpt from the Lions home page about Jefferson and Johnson in the 2008 season.
Jefferson helped Lions WR Calvin Johnson breakout as one of the NFL’s best receivers in 2008 as he tied for first in touchdown receptions (12), fifth in receiving yards (1,331), second in yards per catch among receivers with 60 receptions (17.1), tied for second in 20+-yard receptions (21), tied for second in 40+-yard receptions (7) and tied for first in 25+-yard touchdown catches (6). Johnson was also named an alternate to the 2009 NFC Pro Bowl squad
We've seen Johnson go from an extremely gifted physical freak to an all around threat. He was always a threat for the deep ball, but last year we saw him catching more short crossing routes. Personally I think that was a good thing. Using a short crossing route with Johnson can confuse the coverage. If a team dedicates the safety and corner back to his side, he crosses over the middle...either that safeties have to change up or it leaves the deep side of the field he started on empty.
Hopefully this year Jefferson will have some fun adding Titus Young into the mix. I can see some fun things ahead with Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, and Titus Young giving corner backs and safeties fits with Jefferson getting them all on the same page.