This week, the Detroit Lions continued to lose some of their defensive coaches to other teams. The Jim Caldwell era of coaches is beginning to crumble as defensive line coach Kris Kocurek left to join the Miami Dolphins while defensive line assistant Matt Raich and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin have already established themselves with the Bengals in Cincinnati.
From the outside, it looks like the Lions are falling further and further behind in the position coach search, as they wait to be legally cleared to hire Matt Patricia as their new head coach. As the rest of the NFL is filling out their coaching staff, the Lions have yet to officially hire a single new coach.
But according to national NFL reporter Jason La Canfora, there’s little reason for Lions fans to worry:
Lions are getting deep into hiring position coaches for Matt Patricia's new staff— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 19, 2018
Though the Lions are unlikely hire any position coaches until the Patricia is officially with the team, it appears they already have plans in place. That’s not all that surprising considering they let Austin and Kocurek walk—when they could have easily blocked either candidate from interviewing—but it’s still a bit reassuring to hear. There’s the perception that the Lions are hamstrung in their coaching search because they have to wait for Patricia, but that doesn’t really forbid them from having backdoor deals in place, and now it’s clear that’s exactly what Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia are doing.
Unfortunately, La Canfora didn’t provide us with any names of potential positional coaches, nor any indication if the Lions will be making any changes on the offensive side of the ball. Many believe offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter will stick around under Patricia, and there is currently just one coaching vacancy on the offensive side of the ball: offensive line coach.
While we wait for more details to come out, check out our top five candidates to be the Lions’ next defensive coordinator.