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Notes: Lions offensive line coach Jeff Davidson ranked dead last in coaching value

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The Lions offensive line coach doesn’t exactly have a great resume.

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions’ offensive line improvement this year has been noticeable, but probably not as significant as hoped or expected. The addition of Frank Ragnow has been promising, and the Lions finally have a running game that isn’t ranked towards the bottom of the league in every statistical category. Last week was the perfect example of how the Lions are now capable of putting games away with their running game, as they average 4.2 yards per carry (t-18th) and 103.0 rushing yards per game (23rd).

But one metric suggests that one of the bigger changes the Lions made to the offensive line—adding Jeff Davidson to the coaching staff—is a move that could potentially backfire.

Optimum Scouting’s Justis Mosqueda developed a metric combining the “sack value” and “TFL value” of every offensive line coach, using their resume dating back to 2004 to see which offensive line coaches have added the most value to their team.

Davidson came in dead last per Mosqueda’s ranks. Where he particularly has hurt offensive lines appears to be in pass protection. He has the second-lowest “sack value” of all 34 qualifying coaches, with only former Raiders offensive line coach Tom Cable. It’s hard to argue against this point when the Lions have allowed 37 sacks this season (2.8 per game), just barely above their pace from last year (2.9).

However, this study doesn’t offer much context, either. Personnel is not part of the equation, and Davidson has had to take over some pretty unsuccessful offensive lines in the past. As we pointed out in our coaching resume earlier in the year, Davidson helped turn around some pretty poor rushing attacks in New England, Carolina and Minnesota. However, the pass protection issues did seem to follow him wherever he went—especially in Minnesota.

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