Finally some news is coming out about the Detroit Lions’ new staff under Matt Patricia. Though the Patricia hire is still yet to be official, the Sporting News’ Alex Marvez has the scoop on some of Patricia’s first hires as Lions head coach.
Not sure if out there but @lions plan to hire Jeff Davidson (offensive line), George Godsey (QBs) and Brian Stewart (DBs) to new coaching staff source tells @sportingnews— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) January 29, 2018
Let’s break these hires down one-by-one.
Jeff Davidson - Offensive line coach
Davidson has been coaching in the NFL since 1995, when a shoulder injury ended his professional career as a offensive linemen. He has jumped around from team to team, spending time as the offensive line coach for the Browns, Vikings, Chargers, Broncos and—you guessed it—the New England Patriots.
Davidson also has offensive coordinator experience. He held that position from 2007 to 2010 with the Carolina Panthers.
On Jan. 1, Davidson was fired from his position as the Broncos offensive line coach. In Detroit, he’ll be tasked with turning around the Lions’ 30th-ranked rushing game (by DVOA). For reference, here’s where teams ranked in rushing DVOA with Davidson as the offensive line coach:
2002 Patriots: 14th
2003 Patriots: 25th
2004 Patriots: 4th
2005 Browns: 28th
2011 Vikings: 5th
2012 Vikings: 6th
2013 Vikings: 8th
2014 Vikings: 4th
2015 Vikings: 8th
2016 Chargers: 24th
2017 Broncos: 23rd
Obviously, Davidson’s stats are bolstered a bit here by Adrian Peterson, but, still, he’s only ranked in the bottom half four times in his long career.
George Godsey - Quarterback coach
You may not recognize the name, but this is actually just a promotion within the Lions organization. In 2017, Bob Quinn hired Godsey to be a defensive assistant/special projects. Though it may seem like a strange promotion to the offensive side of the ball, Godsey has plenty of experience on offense. He was a quarterbacks coach at UCF and an offensive assistant/tight ends coach with the Patriots.
Prior to being hired by the Lions, Godsey was the offensive coordinator for the Texans from 2015 to 2016.
Brian Stewart - Defensive backs coach
Stewart is the lone coach with no direct ties to the Patriots. Recently, he’s done most of his work in the college ranks. Jumping from Houston to Maryland as defensive coordinators, then spending two years as defensive backs at Nebraska, before jumping back to defensive coordinator, this time for Rice.
Stewart does have experience in the NFL, as well. He was the assistant defensive backs coach for the Texans from 2002 to 2003 and defensive coordinator for the Cowboys from 2007 to 2008.
Though he never worked in New England, Stewart does have a connection to Patricia. The two worked together in Syracuse in 2001. Patricia was an offensive graduate assistant, while Steward was in charge of the secondary.
Combined with the rumors that Paul Pasqualoni is a candidate for the defensive coordinator job, it appears Matt Patricia’s staff is coming along slowly. We’ll have more on each of these candidates later in the week.