The Detroit Lions have not yet made any announcements about which assistant coaches have re-signed with the team (beyond the coordinators, anyway). However, MLive's Anwar Richardson got word on Tuesday that the "majority" of the assistants had already re-signed and the Lions were just waiting to hear back from secondary coach Tim Walton and wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson. On Wednesday, it came out that Walton did in fact decide to stay with the Lions, which is something defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham was very pleased to find out.
"I almost died the other day," Cunningham said. "I wanted to just sleep for a while and Tim Walton is getting ready to go to St. Louis. I'm going to be real honest with you about this, and I always am. I don't know how much money he was offered, but it was a lot. He didn't go. Think about that. He did not go. That says a lot.
Walton interviewed with the St. Louis Rams over the weekend and was reportedly being considered for the team's assistant defensive coordinator job. After pondering the offer, Walton decided to stick with his current job in Detroit. While the secondary did have its fair share of struggles toward the end of this season, Cunningham called Walton the "best defensive backs coach" he's ever worked with, so the Lions are certainly glad Walton is coming back.
As for Jefferson, Richardson reports that the Lions receivers coach will "likely re-sign with Detroit later this week." Jefferson has apparently received "several" offers, which isn't too surprising given that the Lions receivers did so well in 2011. Of course, he did have Calvin Johnson, which could be part of the reason why Jefferson is expected to come back. Another (not so serious) reason could be that Cunningham has the goods on him.
"Shawn can't leave," Cunningham said. "First of all, I'll bring up all the times that I beat him. Jerry Sullivan (Jaguars receivers coach) and I are close friends. He coached Shawn and I know a lot of stories about Shawn. I won't tell you those stories, but I'm going to threaten him with that, but (Shaun is) a great guy."
In all seriousness, Jefferson seems on track to move up in the coaching ranks rather soon. I'm not sure if any of his offers would serve as a promotion, but with the weapons at his disposal in Detroit and with the job he has done coaching them, I wouldn't be surprised if Jefferson is an offensive coordinator somewhere in the near future.