After news broke that the Detroit Lions were moving on from offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, The Athletic reporter Michael Lombardi dropped this foreboding, yet vague, warning:
Expect a ton of changes besides Cooter in Detroit.— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) January 1, 2019
While we await “a ton” of changes, at least one more coaching change has already happened with the Lions. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions have fired offensive assistant Derius Swinton. Swinton has been removed from the Lions’ official website, which appears to confirm Birkett’s report.
Swinton was added to the coaching staff in March of 2018 to help the offense transition into the Matt Patricia era. Previously, Swinton had worked alongside Cooter at Tennessee, and at the NFL level with the Chiefs and Broncos. Swinton’s background has always been with special teams, but perhaps his connection to Cooter is what got him hired (and fired).
According to Birkett, Swinton also helped out on special teams once the Lions fired Joe Marciano back in November.
In addition to coaching changes, the Lions also added another player to their roster. The Lions announced Wednesday afternoon they signed former Ravens/Jets running back Mark Thompson to a reserve-future contract. Thompson, listed at 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, was an undrafted rookie out of Florida in 2018. In college, Thompson rushed for 596 total yards in two season at 4.7 yards per carry.