Just over two weeks ago, linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton was competing for a spot on the Detroit Lions’ 53-man roster. Now, he’s joining the team in a completely different capacity. The team announced that Hamilton is being hired as a defensive assistant coach.
Hamilton was drafted in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He played for three years in Washington, racking up 97 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles over that time. In early 2021, the Lions claimed Hamilton off of waivers, and he had a promising start to training camp. However, Hamilton suffered an injury to his arm before the team’s first preseason game and was placed on injured reserve.
The Lions re-signed him to give him a shot again this year, but after the breakout from sixth-round pick Malcolm Rodriguez and the addition of special teamer Chris Board, Hamilton couldn’t climb the depth chart and was released as part of Detroit’s cuts down to 80 players.
Just days before Hamilton was cut, the Lions ran a player-led practice. No positional coaches were on the field, meaning it was up to the players to run drills and make sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing. Notably, it was Hamilton who had the play-card in his hands for the defense and was directing his position group. Perhaps that’s where the Lions saw his potential there.
Lions new defensive assistant coach Shaun Dion Hamilton calling plays during the player led practice during training camp pic.twitter.com/4hCj0bxKn4— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) September 7, 2022
Hamilton now joins a coaching staff that includes several former NFL players, including coach Dan Campbell, quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell, assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley, offensive line coach Hank Fraley, wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El, linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.