The Lions brought in a new coaching staff this offseason and it is heavy in NFL playing experience.
Head coach Dan Campbell heads a staff that features eight former NFL players and the Lions are the only NFL team with a head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator who have played in the league.
In addition to Campbell, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, the Lions also have assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley, quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell, offensive line coach Hank Fraley, wide receivers coach Antwan Randle El and outside linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard.
Running back D’Andre Swift said it is good to have coaches who know “what it takes” to succeed on the field. Quarterback Jared Goff concurred and noted other ways it makes things easier for players.
“It’s been interesting. I’ve had former players coach me in the past, but never this many,” Goff said, via Eric Woodyard of ESPN.com. “It’s cool. It’s fun. A guy like Randle El, he played at a high level for a long time and knows what he’s talking about and the same way for everyone else. But, at the receiver position, he’s done it. You’ve seen it. Duce, he’s done it. Hank, he’s done it. Dan, obviously has done it. A-Lynn, done it. All these guys have done it at a high level playing it, so it’s easy to communicate and easy for them to understand it from a player’s view.”
The Lions’ last coaching staff never found its way to a winning season. Now they’ll find out if on-field experience translates to better success.