Two former University of Michigan staff members and one former Tampa Bay assistant coach have been added to the Detroit Lions coaching staff to finalize it for the 2008 season. Scot Loeffler, Michigan's ex-quarterbacks coach, has been hired to serve the same position with the Lions. Also coming from Michigan is Kevin Tolbert, who was their strength and conditioning coach. For the Lions, Tolbert will serve as the assistant strength and conditioning coach. The final addition to the new-look staff is Jimmy Lake, who is the Lions' new secondary coach.&nbasp; Lake comes from Tampa Bay, where he was the assistant defensive backs coach for one of the top passing defenses in the league.
The changes mentioned above are all good ones in my opinion. Loeffler was a very good QBs coach at Michigan, and I expect him to greatly help Drew Stanton to become a better quarterback. After all, he is the future of the team, right? To most that might seem to be a statement that isn't welcomed, but unfortunately it's the truth thanks to Matt Millen's poor drafting skills. I don't want to sound like a homer since I am a Michigan fan, but if Millen would have waited a year, he could have had a shot at drafting Chad Henne in the second round if he slips that far (I don't think he will). I'd take Henne over Stanton any day simply because Henne is better and he already is familiar with Loeffler.
For the new secondary coach, I would expect two things to come from this hire: 1) The Lions will improve their passing defense in 2008, and 2) A first- or second-round draft pick will be spent on a cornerback simply because there is a lack of depth at that position and a lack of talent. There are many corners in the draft that look promising, so if I were the Lions, I would go after one with my top pick depending on who else is available at other positions of need.
The final addition to the staff isn't necessarily a huge deal, but I will say that Kevin Tolbert was liked by the Michigan players and seems like a good guy, so he should be a good person to have around this team as well.
With all of the firings and hirings complete, here is the 2008 Lions coaching staff:
|Head Coach||Rod Marinelli|
|Offensive Coordinator||Jim Colletto|
|Assistant Head Coach/Passing Game Coordinator||Kippy Brown|
|Defensive Coordinator||Joe Barry|
|Quarterbacks Coach||Scot Loeffler|
|Running Backs Coach||Wilbert Montgomery|
|Wide Receivers Coach||Shawn Jefferson|
|Tight Ends Coach||Pat Carter|
|Assistant Offensive Line Coach||Mike Barry|
|Offensive Assistant Coach||Adam Gase|
|Defensive Line Coach||Joe Cullen|
|Linebackers Coach||Phil Snow|
|Secondary Coach||Jimmy Lake|
|Assistant Secondary Coach||Clayton Lopez|
|Defensive Quality Control Coach||Don Clemons|
|Special Teams Coach||Stan Kwan|
|Assistant Special Teams Coach||Sam Gash|
|Strength and Conditioning Coach||Malcom Blacken|
|Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach||Kevin Tolbert|
|Director of Physical Development||Jason Arapoff|