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Lions Hire Gunther Cunningham

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Despite a report that the Lions were denied access by the Chiefs, Kansas City defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham has been hired to the same position in Detroit.

Detroit Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz has announced the hiring of Gunther Cunningham as the Lions’ defensive coordinator. Terms of his contract were not disclosed.

Cunningham is a 40-year coaching veteran on the college and pro levels, including the past 27 seasons in the NFL. As an NFL coach, he has served 10 seasons as a defensive coordinator and two seasons as head coach, and during his time in the NFL he has worked with linebackers and defensive line during 16 of those seasons.

The connection between Jim Schwartz and Cunningham is that the two were on the Titans staff together from 2001-03.  Schwartz was Tennessee's defensive coordinator and Cunningham was the Titans' assistant head coach/linebackers coach.

I will have more on this hire later, but in the meantime I will say that it is necessary to look past the statistics with regards to Cunningham's last few years in KC.  The Chiefs' defense wasn't very good, but part of that is a lack of talent.  I'm not exactly sure how much Cunningham's coaching had to do with the poor defensive statistics, so I will try to find out more from SB Nation's Chiefs bloggers.