The Detroit Lions have made several coaching changes this offseason, although it appears they will likely retain all three coordinators. The retention of offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was undoubtedly the biggest move the Lions made with their coaching staff, but let’s take a closer look at the changes the Lions have made thus far.
Many of the changes the Lions have made were the result of another coach leaving or getting poached—typically a good sign that the people in charge are hiring in-demand people. Although, it would certainly be nice to see less turnover on the defensive side of the ball. In just two years, the Lions have had to replace their positional coach at every level DL, LB, DBs).
Here’s a list of everything that has changed:
RB coach/Assistant head coach
- In: Scottie Montgomery
- Out: Duce Staley (went to Panthers to be closer to family)
- In: Steve Heiden
- Out: Tanner Engstrand (“promoted” to solely passing game coordinator)
- J.T. Barrett to assistant QB coach
- Steve Oliver to Assistant OL coach
- Shaun Dion Hamilton to Assistant LB coach
- Brian Duker to DBs coach
- Defensive line coach (Todd Wash went to the Panthers in a lateral move)
Today’s Question of the Day is:
What Lions coaching change has been your favorite?
My answer: I absolutely love the hiring of Scottie Montgomery. Losing Duce Staley hurts, as I believe he was connecting extremely well with both D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. I think he was a perfect fit for the Lions culture, and he was just fun to be around. I totally understand why he left, and wish him the best in Carolina.
But it’s hard to imagine the Lions finding a better replacement for Staley than they did with Montgomery. The former NFL receiver has been coaching since 2006. He not only has experience with all of the skill positions on offense (WR coach for Steelers, QB coach for Duke, RB coach for the Colts), but he has also held higher positions than that—serving as the offensive coordinator at both Duke and Maryland with a stint as East Carolina head coach sandwiched in between.
For the past two years, he’s thrived as a running backs coach, helping Jonathan Taylor lead the NFL in rushing in 2021. Because of that, he nearly landed the Panthers offensive coordinator job in 2022 and got an interview for the same position with the Buccaneers this year.
He was reportedly in demand this offseason, and Campbell was the one who roped him in. I’m excited to see what he can do with Detroit’s backfield this season.