John Bonamego is off to college for the first time in more than 15 years as the former Detroit Lions special teams coach decided to take the Central Michigan head coaching job Friday. The official announcement from the school came Sunday.
Though the Lions have reportedly already decided to hire Joe Marciano to take Bonamego's place, it is worth looking back at Bonamego's two years with the Lions to see how he did.
The Lions used picks on specialists in the 2013 and 2014 drafts. The 2013 pick -- punter Sam Martin in the fifth round -- has developed into one of the better young punters and kickoff specialists in the NFL. The 2014 selection -- Boston College kicker Nate Freese in the seventh round -- was a mess. Freese never showed consistency, and after winning the job out of training camp was cut after three regular-season games.
As returners, the Lions primarily used two players in Bonamego's tenure: Micheal Spurlock in the first half of the 2013 season and Jeremy Ross for the rest of 2013 and last season. One of Bonamego's biggest personnel finds was safety Isa Abdul-Quddus, who was claimed on waivers during the playoffs following the 2013 season. He became a valuable safety and special teams contributor in 2014.
Statistically, in 2013, Detroit was 13th in punt returns (10.32 yards per return) and 11th in kick return (24.00 yards per return). The Lions were eighth in total punting (46.56 yards per punt) and ninth in net punting (40.86). The field goal percentage with David Akers was 79.2 percent -- 27th in the league. The Lions also held opponents to 7.81 yards per punt return. They had two field goals and one punt blocked.
In 2014, the Lions were 15th in punt returns (8.88 yards per return) and 10th in kick return (24.48 yards per return). They were ninth in total punting (46.15 yards per punt) and 16th in net punting (39.74). The combined field goal percentage of Freese, Alex Henery and Matt Prater came in at 65.8 percent, worst in the NFL. Opponents averaged 10.37 yards per punt return. Detroit blocked two field goals and had two field goals blocked. The Lions' field goal percentage was the worst since 2012, when Green Bay made 63.6 percent of its field goals.
And now, a look around the Interwebs in search of Lions news:
This week's Mailbag briefly looks at what the Lions should do in free agency? Charles Woodson talks about Calvin Johnson and Odell Beckham Jr. Meet Lions free agent quarterback Kellen Moore. Aaron Rodgers was the NFC North MVP. Woodson thinks any team would want Ndamukong Suh. Woodson also wanted to play in Detroit after leaving Green Bay -- but he said the Lions passed.
Looking back at the injury that ended the career of Detroit running back Billy Sims from Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Passion pushes running back Joique Bell, writes Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News.
Justin Rogers of MLive looks at what a $100 million contract for Ndamukong Suh might look like.