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Report: Detroit Lions expected to make ‘significant’ changes in defensive coaching staff

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Some changes are coming.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Detroit Lions made the decision to keep head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn for another year, but it appears that courtesy won’t be extended to the entire Lions coaching staff.

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions are expected to make “significant” changes within the coaching staff, specifically on defense.

“Patricia is expected to make significant changes to his defensive coaching staff after the season,” Birkett wrote.

That report seems to be corroborated by MLive’s Kyle Meinke, who—like Birkett—was among the select media that met with the Ford family on Tuesday morning regarding the future of the franchise and specifically the employment of Patricia and Quinn.

“There will still be some meaningful changes after the season, including to Patricia’s staff,” Meinke wrote.

Given how the Lions’ defense performed in 2019, this should come as no surprise. Detroit’s defense is currently ranked 26th in scoring, 30th in passer rating defense, 26th in DVOA, and 26th in yards per play allowed.

Perhaps the coach most in danger of losing his job is defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, who has long ties with Patricia, going back to their overlapping years at Syracuse when Pasqualoni was head coach and Patricia served as a graduate assistant from 2001 to 2003.

Pasqualoni told the media via teleconference on Tuesday that his focus is on the Denver Broncos, not his future with the team.

“To be perfectly honest with you, my concern right now is getting ready to play the Denver Broncos, and giving my full, undivided attention to this game,” Pasqualoni said.

But if the Lions are expecting Pasqualoni to resign or step down on his own accord, it doesn’t sound like that will happen. Just a couple weeks ago, the Lions defensive coordinator expressed his interest in continuing his coaching career for the foreseeable future.

“I hope I’m coaching for a long time. I have no intention of not working,” Pasqualoni said.

While many will view these eventual moves as a scapegoating for Patricia’s failings on defense, there’s no doubt that something needed to change on that side of the ball.