4 candidates to replace Duce Staley as Detroit Lions running backs coach
2. University of Miami running backs coach Kevin Smith
Hat-tip to Pride of Detroit for this one. Smith is a former Lions running back (third-round pick in 2008). He has been in coaching since 2015, starting at his alma mater UCF as an intern (2015) and a quality control administrator (2016).
He then spent five total seasons as running backs coach under Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic (2017-2019) and Ole Miss (2020-2021), before heading back to his hometown to be the running backs coach at the University of Miami in 2022.
Smith has been a fast-riser in coaching. Sounds like just the type Dan Campbell would be interested in.
1. New Orleans Saints running backs coach Joel Thomas
Thomas has been the Saints’ running backs coach since 2015, with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram as his most notable disciples. That also means he overlapped with Dan Campbell on former Saints’ head coach Sean Payton’s staff from 2016-2020. So if Thomas was going to leave New Orleans for a new job, the running backs coach opening in Detroit might be one he’d leave for in a lateral move.
It’s possible Campbell has already made that call to Thomas, and knows if his former colleague would take the job replacing Staley if it were offered to him.