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April would help Detroit's special teams

1/5/2010

I wonder if Detroit coach Jim Schwartz has taken note of this news. According to ESPN.com’s John Clayton, one of the best special teams coaches in the NFL is now on the market.

Buffalo Bills assistant head coach/special teams Bobby April has exercised a clause to terminate his contract, which had two years remaining. It’s always possible that April could return under the Bills’ next coach, but for now he is free to sign with another team.

Schwartz retained special teams coordinator Stan Kwan last offseason, but I don’t think there’s any doubt April would be a substantial upgrade. It's difficult to measure special-teams play, but our friends at Football Outsiders do as good of a job as anyone. In the final 2009 rankings, the Lions' special teams were rated the second worst in the NFL.

Asked Monday if he expected any staff changes this winter, Schwartz said: "There are always changes in the NFL. I don’t want to lock into one way or the other because there are some things that happen for a lot of different reasons. That’s part of the evaluation. Right now we’re still working on players and things like that, but there are a lot of stages to the evaluation of players and coaching staffs and scheduling and schemes and things like that. That stuff will come through."

In other words, changes could occur if the right events fall into place. I don’t know if April would have interest in the Lions, or vice versa. But it sounds a good idea to me.