Jeff Backus announced his retirement from the NFL back in March, bringing his career to an end after 12 seasons. He decided that it was time to move on to the next phase of his life, and it turns out that next phase will involve some coaching, as he is going to be a part-time coaching intern for the Detroit Lions this offseason.
Backus has no plans at this point to coach on a full-time basis, but he is going to be around the team this offseason to help out with the offensive line. The position is unpaid, and more than anything it sounds like he wants to serve as a mentor for the younger offensive linemen. From the Lions' official site:
"It really just started with Jeremiah asking me to come in and sit in on meetings and watch some of their workouts and to be a mentor to some of their young offensive tackles," Backus told Detroitlions.com.
"They don’t have any veteran offensive tackles in the room right now. I still live in the area and he just asked me, when I have time, to come in and do what I’ve always done."
Backus also mentioned that the Lions didn't have a "veteran group" of offensive linemen when he was drafted. He wishes there had been someone to learn from, so he thinks he can serve as that kind of person for Riley Reiff, Jason Fox and the other young offensive linemen. The Lions already have offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn and assistant offensive line coach Terry Heffernan, but having someone who just played in the NFL around as an extra set of eyes and ears certainly can't hurt.