The Detroit Lions announced four more hires to their coaching staff on Wednesday afternoon. Todd Wash is the new defensive line coach, Seth Ryan is the assistant wide receivers coach, while Kelvin Sheppard and Brian Duker are new defensive assistants.
Wash is a significant hire, as he comes with the most experience of the bunch. He’s been coaching football since 1996, starting as the head coach of Fort Lewis College. He’s been in the NFL ranks since 2007, first as the defensive quality control coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He eventually became the defensive line coach of both the Buccaneers (2008-10) and the Seahawks (2011-12). For the last eight year, however, he’s been with the Jacksonville Jaguars, first as the defensive line coach/run game coordinator (2013-15), before being promoted to defensive coordinator for the past five years.
Wash oversaw one of the best defenses in Jaguars history in 2017 and 2018 when the team ranked second and seventh in DVOA, respectively. However, when the franchise saw a mass exodus of talent over the past few years, Wash had trouble keeping the unit afloat. Jacksonville was a bottom-five defense in the past two seasons, allowing 397 points (21st) and 492 points (31st) in 2019 and 2020.
Seth Ryan comes to the team having spent the past four seasons alongside new Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn with the Chargers. Ryan served as a coaching intern for his first two years before being promoted to an offensive quality control coach—working mostly with the wide receivers.
With Ryan being named assistant wide receiver coach, it appears the Lions are still looking for a replacement for the popular Robert Prince as their primary wide receivers coach. Several names have been attached to the job, including former players Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El. If the Lions’ choice is Randle El, they will not be able to hire him until after the Super Bowl, as he is currently the Buccaneers’ offensive assistant.