Monday, December 31, 2012
At least two staff changes for Lions*
By Kevin Seifert
To this point, at least, the turnover on the Detroit Lions' coaching staff falls short of an overhaul and appears at least partially connected to the contract status of those who are leaving.
Receivers coach Shawn Jefferson and running backs coach Sam Gash were informed Monday that their expiring contracts won't be renewed. My understanding there is at least one more offensive assistant who also will be leaving, but I don't want to publish his name until it can be confirmed. (The Lions' web site reporter did not refute the departures of Jefferson and Gash.) *Update: Multiple reports confirm offensive line coach George Yarno is the third coach who won't return.
For the moment, I'm aware of no developments regarding any of the Lions' three coordinators -- Scott Linehan, Gunther Cunningham and Danny Crossman -- but I can't say for sure that all three will return in 2013.
A team that loses eight consecutive games and finishes 4-12 in the fourth year of a head coach's tenure is bound to undergo staff changes. Jefferson and Gash are well-respected within the NFL and should have offers to work elsewhere in 2013. Jefferson's work with receiver Calvin Johnson should be obvious to anyone who has seen him grow into a polished receiver.
I'll be back Monday night if necessary, but otherwise have a pleasant and safe New Years' Eve.