NFL Nation: Sam Gash
Receivers coach Shawn Jefferson and running backs coach Sam Gash were informed Monday that their expiring contracts won't be renewed. My understanding is that at least one more offensive assistant will also be leaving, but I don't want to publish his name until it can be confirmed. (The Lions' website reporter did not refute the departures of Jefferson and Gash.)
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.
Although there haven't been any official announcements, it appears new Detroit coach Jim Schwartz has lined up most of his coaching staff.
David Birkett of the Oakland Press reports that former Tampa Bay assistant George Yarno will be the Lions' offensive line coach. Meanwhile, holdover Shawn Jefferson (receivers) and Sam Gash (running backs) are expected to be retained in their current positions. Former offensive coordinator Jim Colletto, who was demoted to offensive line coach earlier this month, is not expected to be retained.
Previously, it's been reported that former Denver defensive coordinator Bob Slowik will coach defensive backs and former Tennessee assistant Matt Burke will handle linebackers. That leaves the defensive line as the only job that is publicly unaccounted for.
Continuing around the NFC North on Super Bowl hump day:
- New Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham expects his staff to be formally announced within a week. Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press reports.
- Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel breaks down Pittsburgh's version of the 3-4 defense, one that new Packers coordinator Dom Capers likely will emulate.
- Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times traces the path of former Bears offensive lineman Mike Gandy, who will start in the Super Bowl for Arizona.
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