Detroit's offseason got started following its upset win over the Cowboys on Sunday. Since then, the Lions have wasted little time in making some changes. Rod Marinelli today announced the firing of defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson in what is said to be a "mutual parting." Also, offensive line coach Larry Beightol has been fired.
The firing of Donnie Henderson isn't a big surprise as the defense did struggle this season. Plus, Henderson wasn't accustomed to the "Tampa 2" type of defense that Detroit ran. With Henderson out as defensive coordinator, the open spot is likely to go to Tampa Bay linebackers coach Joe Barry. Barry not only knows the system Detroit runs but is the son-in-law of Rod Marinelli and son of assistant offensive line coach Mike Barry.
Joe Barry is easily the top candidate for the job and could have actually had the job last January if it wasn't for Tampa Bay's policy where assistants can't be interviewed if they are under contract. At that time Barry had one year left, meaning that the Lions now can interview him for the defensive coordinator job. I would expect him to take it considering he would be working with family and it would be a promotion you could say.
Moving on to the other firing that happened today, the departure of Larry Beightol comes as a bit of a surprise. The offensive line didn't play its greatest football this season, but the main reason is so many injuries had happened. I don't know who could make that o-line great when half of it was constantly injured.
The players did have respect for Beightol but the problem may have been between he and Mike Martz. Martz and Beightol reportedly "clashed" on separate occasions, which may have led to his firing.
Assistant offensive line coach Mike Barry (father of Joe Barry) is not expected to be promoted, but will remain in his current capacity.