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Detroit Lions finalizing coaching staff, shifting Ben Johnson to TE coach

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It appears the Lions have a new TE coach.

Miami Dolphins v Pittsburgh Steelers

If you were to look at the Detroit Lions’ coaching staff via their website, you’d notice several coaching positions still vacant. The Lions are still lacking a tight ends coach, linebackers coach, defensive backs coach and various strength and conditioning positions that were filled last year.

However, head coach Matt Patricia indicated that the Lions are in the process of finalizing some in-house maneuvers that will close out their coaching searches for 2020.

“We’ll probably get that out pretty soon with everybody’s—the titles and all the rest of that here coming up,” Patricia said on Tuesday at the NFL Combine. “We’re adding a couple more pieces and still in the process of finalizing all that.”

Patricia did confirmed the hiring of former Titans inside linebacker coach Tyrone McKenzie, but did not say whether he’d fill the linebackers coach position, as initially reported. He also appeared to announce the Lions’ new tight ends coach: former Lions offensive quality control coach Ben Johnson.

“Ben Johnson was with us last year, he’ll probably move into that tight end role,” Patricia said this week.

Prior to his time with the Lions, Johnson spent seven years as part of the Miami Dolphins coaching staff. He filled several roles with the Dolphins, including assistant quarterbacks coach, wide receivers coach, and in the final 12 games of the 2015 season the team’s tight ends coach. Now he’ll have to handle one of the Lions’ most-valuable assets: 2019 first-round pick T.J. Hockenson, who will be looking to improve upon a decent rookie season.

As for the rest of the coaching moves, we’ll have to wait for the Lions to make a formal announcement, but it sounds like that should be coming shortly.