The Detroit Lions are hiring coach Terrell Williams to their staff as the team’s run game coordinator and defensive line coach, according to a report from The Athletic’s Dianna Russini.
Williams played defensive tackle at East Carolina through the 1995 season and just three years later, he leaped into the coaching profession. Over his college coaching career, he upgraded schools several times—moving from Youngstown State (MVC) to Akron (MAC) then on to Purdue (Big Ten), and Texas A&M (SEC)—before landing a job with the Raiders in 2012.
In 2015, Williams became the Miami Dolphins defensive line coach and that is where he crossed paths with current Lions coach Dan Campbell—who was the Dolphins interim coach at that time. Williams’ next stop would be the Tennessee Titans, where he was originally hired as their defensive line coach, and eventually added assistant head coach to his job title.
Williams has a long list of high-level players attached to his name that he helped develop, including several Pro Bowlers. While at Purdue, he developed Ryan Kerrigan, Cliff Avril, Kawaan Short, and Anthony Spencer. Von Miller learned under his tutelage at Texas A&M. Cameron Wake had career years learning from Williams. Jurrell Casey and Jeffrey Simmons each flourished under Williams’ guidance in Tennessee.
While the Lions allowed the second-fewest rushing yards in 2023, Williams’ defensive line led the Titans to have the NFL’s top-rated defense against the run in 2022—which surely is the catalyst for his run game coordinator title.
Now, it’s worth pointing out that the Lions already have a coach on staff with the title defensive line coach in John Scott Jr., but there’s been no word of any change in his status at this time. While Scott currently holds the job title, and Russini is reporting Williams will have the same title, the Lions could be simply shifting around the duties of their staff, which they do each offseason.
Fun fact: A generous hat tip to Twitter (X) user Tim Butler, who pointed out that Williams was also Lions general manager Brad Holmes’ position coach at North Carolina A&T back in 1999-2001.