Detroit Lions hire John Scott Jr. as likely new defensive line coach

Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Lions seem to have a new defensive line coach, with John Scott Jr. coming in to replace Todd Wash on staff.

Defensive line coach Todd Wash was the second Detroit Lions assistant coach to take the same job with the Carolina Panthers, after running backs coach Duce Staley did so in large part due to a personal situation.

The Lions quickly found their replacement for Staley, in Scottie Montgomery. Now they seem to have their replacement for Wash.

According to the Centre Daily Times on Monday night, John Scott Jr. is leaving Penn State to join the Lions’ coaching staff. His exact role has not been confirmed, but it’s safe to assume Scott will replace Wash.

Scott spent the last three seasons at Penn State as defensive line coach, adding the role of run game coordinator last season. Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin confirmed Scott’s departure.

"I would like to thank John for everything he has contributed to our program over the past three years,” Franklin wrote in a statement. “John is a great coach and also a great man. I am grateful for his friendship and the impact he has had on our student-athletes. This was a great opportunity for him in the NFL and I wish him and his family nothing but the best.”"

Scott started out in coaching as a high school defensive line coach in 2001, with stints at the college level at Louisiana-Lafayette, Norfolk State, Western Carolina, Missouri State, Georgia Southern, Texas Tech, Arkansas and South Carolina as well as Penn State.

Scott also spent two seasons with the New York Jets in the NFL (2015-2016), as a defensive quality control coach then assistant defensive line coach under Todd Bowles.

Detroit Lions new coach has developed NFL defensive line prospects

During  his time at South Carolina (2019) and Penn State, Scott helped develop Javon Kinlaw and Odafe Oweh into first-round picks (in 2020 and 2021 respectively). Overall, per Justin Rogers of The Detroit News, Scott has sent 10 defensive lineman to the NFL during his coaching career, including former Lion Kerry Hyder.

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