1. Kelvin Sheppard, Linebackers Coach
"Well, he’s earned that. He’s earned that,” Campbell said back in June. “He’s – I feel like Shep, the more we put on Shep, the more he answers the call. And he’s developing as a coach. We see growth – no different than the players, you want to see growth from your coaches. And so, (DC Aaron Glenn) AG and I talked and we felt like it was time to put more on him, especially this year."
"I think Shep is a young, promising coach. I think he can be a coordinator one day, and I think he can be a head coach one day. I think he’s got that type of potential, so the time is right (to give him more to do)."
Sheppard started his coaching journey as director of player development back at his alma mater (LSU) in 2020, and he's in his third season on the Lions' staff coaching linebackers-the position he played. So he's a very young coach, but he brings the perspective and fire of a former player to his role.
The development of Jack Campbell as a rookie this season, the improvement of Derrick Barnes this year and the instant impact Malcolm Rodriguez had as a rookie last year, are all credits to Sheppard.
As Nick Baumgardner of The Athletic suggested, Barnes' development over the last three years is perhaps the best positive mark on Sheppard's resume.
"we'll see if this is the year Aaron Glenn gets his own gig somewhere -- if he does, he and Dan Campbell might have a cage match over who gets to take Sheppard."
Sheppard will be a defensive coordinator somewhere, in Detroit when Glenn has to be replaced or elsewhere, possibly sooner than anyone who's unfamiliar with him expects. Glenn could easily want to take him if he gets a head coaching job, and Johnson could very easily want to as well if he's looking to fill a defensive coordinator spot.