The Detroit Lions entered this offseason without a head coach, general manager, and plenty of unanswered questions about the future of their franchise. Over a month later, and the Lions have forged a new regime and identity that has many excited about the possibilities.
The Lions hired both general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell last month. And they have proceeded to build their coaching staff in Detroit. They hired former Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn as offensive coordinator and former New Orleans defensive backs coach, Aaron Glenn, to run the defense.
Now, both Campbell and Lynn have reportedly turned to a former Super Bowl champion to become the team’s new wide receiver coach. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Lions are expected to hire Antwaan Randle El to fill that role.
Randle El, a former All-Pro wide receiver and special team returner, has been coaching with the Kansas City Chiefs that past two seasons as their assistant wide receivers coach. As a player, Antwaan a second-round selection out of Indiana in 2002 by the Pittsburgh Steelers. A college quarterback, Randle El transition to wide receiver and helped the Steelers win Super Bowl XL.
Selected as a first-team All-Pro in 2006, Randle El would spend a total of nine seasons in the NFL as a player. Five years with the Steelers and four with the Washington Redskins. He would retire in 2012.
Now it appears Randle El’s coaching career is leading him to the Motor City. And he should have a big influence on the future of Detroit’s wide receiver corps. That’s due to many of the Lions’ receivers from last season being scheduled to hit free agency next month.
Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola, Mohamed Sanu, and Jamal Agnew are all set to depart the team. That essentially leaves Randle El only 2020 fifth-round rookie, Quintez Cephus, to coach of those who actually started a game for Detroit last year.
While it is unclear if the Detroit Lions’ new regime will elect to retain any of their pending free agent wideouts, it’s clear this is a positional group primed for a retooling. Surely, the team’s new wide receiver coach will have a hand in molding this unit to his liking.