The Detroit Lions have a new special teams coordinator. As first reported by Chris McCosky and John Niyo and confirmed by Dave Birkett, it's John Bonamego, who played football at Central Michigan and has been coaching special teams in the NFL since 1999.
Bonamego was most recently with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He spent one season (2012) as their special teams coordinator in his second stint with the team. His first stint as the Jaguars' special teams coordinator was in 2002 after spending three years as the assistant special teams coordinator. He was the Green Bay Packers' special teams coordinator from 2003-05, and he then held the same position with the New Orleans Saints from 2006-07. He became the Miami Dolphins' special teams coordinator in 2008 and held that job until he was fired in the middle of the 2010 season.
Here is a look at the rankings for Bonamego's teams in Football Outsiders' special teams ratings:
2002 (JAC): 18th
2003 (GB): 13th
2004 (GB): 14th
2005 (GB): 30th
2006 (NO): 14th
2007 (NO): 25th
2008 (MIA): 29th
2009 (MIA): 9th
2010 (MIA)*: 29th
2012 (JAC): 25th
*Fired midway through the season
My initial reaction is that this is a pretty underwhelming hire. Bonamego's special teams only cracked the top 10 once in Football Outsiders' ratings, and they often were ranked in the bottom half of the league. What's more, the fact that he was fired during the 2010 season by the Dolphins after they allowed a kick return touchdown and had two kicks blocked in the same game is pretty bad. I'd like to think that the Lions could have done better than this, especially with Alan Lowry out there.