Can competitive coaches fuel the Detroit Lions comeback?

Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

This offseason has been a one of massive change for the Detroit Lions organization, from top to bottom. And while both media and fans are often more focused on roster changes, the moves made behind the scenes could, in fact, be the spark of real change for the Motor City.

This group is certainly not the Same Old Lions, for better and for worse. Gone are general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia. Replacing them, Brad Holmes at GM and the fiery Dan Campbell at the helm as head coach.

To support this new exciting duo, the Lions have assembled an experienced team to support them like former Lions linebacker Chris Spielman, who is now the special assistant to the Chairman and President & CEO, Ron Wood. This new group also includes Ray Agnew as assistant general manager and John Dorsey as the senior personnel executive.

And while this front office group has already started to change the culture in Allen Park while also supplying Campbell with more gritty, hard-nosed players, it’s the newly assembled coaching staff in Detroit who might actually have the bigger impact in 2021.

With many of them being former NFL players themselves, the competition between coaches this summer could be the initial spark that ignites real change on the field. Here’s what Campbell told about the competitive nature of his new coaching staff …

"“There’s already been a lot of trash talking between both sides, and I’m talking about Aubrey (Pleasant) and (Antwaan Randle) El. That’s a good thing. It’s going to start with the coaches and it’ll bleed to the players. These guys are going to compete and scratch and claw for everything. I’m telling you, the coaches are going to do it. It’s poetry in motion.”"

The Lions’ new coaching staff consists of several exciting names. And longtime NFL fans will surely recognize them. In fact, it’s a good bet this group could outplay any other NFL coaching staff if pressed to be on the field today.

On offense, former two-time Super Bowl-winning NFL running back Anthony Lynn is the new offensive coordinator in Detroit. He’s joined by another former NFL running back, Duce Staley, who is the team’s assistant head coach and running backs coach.

After a 19-year NFL career as a quarterback, Mark Brunell is the team’s new QB coach. Hank Fraley, a former center in the NFL, is the offensive line coach. And Antwaan Randle El, a nine-year NFL veteran at wideout, is now the wide receivers coach.

Related Story. Detroit Lions: Dan Campbell may do the unthinkable after 60 years. light

The defense is now led by three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Aaron Glenn, with the legendary Dom Capers as his senior defensive assistant. They are joined by the aforementioned Aubrey Pleasant as the team’s new passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach as well as Kelvin Sheppard as a defensive assistant, who himself was recently a linebacker in the NFL for eight seasons.