As first reported by Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press and later corroborated by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Detroit Lions will be hiring Dave Fipp as their next special teams coordinator.
The Philadelphia Eagles, who had employed Fipp as their special teams coordinator for the past eight seasons, had originally denied the Lions’ request to interview Fipp, but with Philly dealing with a regime change of their own, it appears they are letting Fipp go, and Detroit is pouncing on the opportunity.
Fipp has been in the NFL coaching special teams since 2008, when he started as an assistant with the 49ers. It was his next stop—two years with the Miami Dolphins from 2011 to 2012—in which he overlapped with current Lions head coach Dan Campbell.
Here’s a look at some of the statistics on Fipp’s units since earning the full-time role with the Eagles back in 2013.
Special teams DVOA rankings, and Rick Gosselin’s end-of-year rankings
2013: 25th in DVOA, 19th in Gosselin’s ranking
2014: 1st in DVOA, 1st in Gosselin’s ranking
2015: 10th in DVOA, 5th in Gosselin’s ranking
2016: 2nd in DVOA, 1st in Gosselin’s ranking
2017: 16th in DVOA, 13th in Gosselin’s rankings
2018: 15th in DVOA, 14th in Gosselin’s rankings
2019: 19th in DVOA, 15th in Gosselin’s rankings
2020: 22nd in DVOA, 17th in Gosselin’s rankings
As you can see, there was a three-year period in which the Eagles had arguably the best special teams units shortly after hiring Fipp. However, in the past four years, that unit has slowly slipped to about average.
Fipp will replace Brayden Coombs, who was fired midseason after calling a fake punt without consulting the rest of the coaching staff. His midseason replacement, Marquice Williams, was hired as the Atlanta Falcons’ special teams coordinator earlier this month. In 202, the Lions’ special teams units finished 11th in DVOA and third in Gosselin’s rankings.
UPDATE: The Lions have confirmed this hire.