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Detroit Lions remove WR coach Robert Prince from team website

The Lions appear to be moving on from one of their most popular coaches.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

It appears the Detroit Lions are preparing to move on from one of their most popular coaches on staff. Sometime on Friday, the Lions removed wide receivers coach Robert Prince from the coaching roster on their official website. That obviously doesn’t officially mean he’s gone yet, but it certainly can’t be a good sign for his future here.

Prince was one of the longest tenured employees with the Lions, having coached Detroit’s receivers since 2014. He is one of the few Lions coaches that is still in good standing with Calvin Johnson, and he even earned the nickname “Chief Energy Officer” for the intensity he brings during each practice. When interim head coach Darrell Bevell had to miss a game due to COVID protocols, Prince was the one who stepped in as the interim to the interim coach.

One has to wonder whether this move could impact negotiations with some of the Lions’ free agent wide receivers. Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., and Danny Amendola are all unsigned for the 2021 season. In fact, in his appearance on “Good Morning Football” this week, Golladay specifically gave Prince a shoutout.

As for who could be replacing Prince, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press dropped a hint earlier on Friday. Birkett noted that former Steelers All-Pro receiver Hines Ward had been in contact with the Lions. Ward was the Jets’ assistant wide receivers coach this year after joining the team in 2019 as an offensive assistant.

Birkett also mentioned Rex Ryan’s son, Seth Ryan, though it’s unclear if he’s contending for that wide receiver job. Ryan is a former college wide receiver who was a quality control coach under now-Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn when the two were with the Chargers.