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Report: Detroit Lions hiring John Fox as defensive consultant

The Detroit Lions are adding a well-versed defensive mind to their coaching staff.

Indianapolis Colts v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions have made another addition to their coaching staff. According to a report from Panthers beat writer David Newton, the Lions are hiring former Panthers head coach John Fox to be a “senior defensive consultant.”

Fox has been in the NFL coaching circles since 1989, where he began as a defensive backs coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has most notably had head coaching stints with the Panthers (2002-10), Broncos (2011-14) and Bears (2015-17). Over that time, he amassed a total record of 133-123 in the regular season, 8-7 in the playoffs.

After his time with the Bears, Fox took some time off from coaching. He spent time with ESPN as a studio analyst, but returned to coaching last year as the senior defensive assistant for the Indianapolis Colts under Frank Reich.

The Lions defense has struggled in its first two years under defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, ranking 31st in scoring in 2021 and 28th last season. However, towards the end of last year, the Lions made a noticeable improvement, allowing just 20.1 points per game from Week 9 and beyond.

Fox certainly has plenty of experience on that side of the ball, serving as defensive coordinator for the Raiders (1994-95) and Giants (1997-2001), while also coaching defensive backs in various places, including Iowa State, University of Pittsburgh and professional stops with the Steelers and Chargers.

In 2021, the Lions brought on senior defensive assistant Dom Capers to help out Glenn, but they were without a senior consultant last season. This year, they will have a new defensive line coach (John Scott Jr.) and new cornerbacks coach (Dre Bly), so the addition of a well-versed defensive coach will be welcomed.

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