Lions retain Gunther Cunningham as senior coaching assistant

USA TODAY Sports

Gunther Cunningham is staying with the Detroit Lions as a senior coaching assistant.

It turns out that Gunther Cunningham has been retained by the Detroit Lions after all. He's obviously not returning as the team's defensive coordinator (that job now belongs to Teryl Austin), but Dave Birkett reports that Cunningham will be kept on staff as a senior coaching assistant.

Cunningham's contract with the Lions runs through 2014, and there was some speculation during the head coaching search that he might be retained. Jim Caldwell opted to hire Austin as his new defensive coordinator, but the Lions have apparently decided to create a new role for Cunningham for 2014.

It's not exactly clear what this role will entail for Cunningham, but here's some insight from Birkett:

Cunningham has made no secret that he is a fan of Pro Football Focus, so perhaps instead of dealing with schemes and calling plays and things like that, he will spend 2014 evaluating individual players for the Lions. In any case, this is pretty interesting news, as it looked like Cunningham was not going to be back this year.

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