Dan Campbell thinks Lions linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard will be a future NFL head coach


Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn are lined up for their opportunity at some point soon, and Dan Campbell also sees a future NFL head coach in Lions linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard.

The Detroit Lions have what looks to be two future head coaches on their staff in offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. It's a credit to how Dan Campbell has put together his group of assistants, and a head coach candidate pipeline could extend beyond the coordinators.

Kelvin Sheppard spent a portion of his playing career as a linebacker with the Lions, and he's entering his third season on Campbell's staff coaching the position. Reviews of his work with players have been broadly excellent.

At minicamp this past week, reporters on the ground at Allen Park noted how Sheppard was running defensive drills that meshed linebackers with defensive backs. Simply, Campbell is giving him responsibilities beyond just coaching linebackers.

Dan Campbell sees a future NFL head coach in Kelvin Sheppard

On Thursday, via Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire, Campbell talked about giving Sheppard more to do and what he sees as the future for the Lions' linebackers coach.

"Well, he’s earned that. He’s earned that,” Campbell said Thursday. “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.”"

Dan Campbell

If (when) Glenn gets his opportunity to be a head coach, Sheppard is looking like an easy internal candidate to replace him as Lions' defensive coordinator. The coordinator opportunity Campbell talked of could also of course come elsewhere for Sheppard, such as he'd be inclined to (or the timing would be right for him to) leave the Lions.

In any case, Sheppard is a rising young coach with the early look of a future head man.

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