Detroit Lions news: Ben Johnson, Duce Staley, Zach Ertz, statistical edges vs. 49ers?

Here's a look at some Detroit Lions news and other nuggets on the Thursday before the NFC Championship Game.
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Former Lions RB coach Duce Staley finds new team

Staley left his post as the Lions' running backs to join Frank Reich's then-new staff in Carolina last year, in large part to be closer to home and his ailing mother. Naturally, when Reich was let go midseason so were some prominent members of his coaching staff-including Staley.

Staley interviewed with the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns about their running backs coach vacancies. According to multiple reports on Wednesday, including Mary Kay Cabot of, he's headed to the Browns to replace Stump Mitchell.

Staley spent two seasons as the Lions' running backs coach. His firing in Carolina had brought some sentiment from fans he could come back if things went a certain way with pieces of Dan Campbell's staff, but that's not happening now.

Lions well-represented on another All-Rookie Team

Bucky Brooks of put together his 2023 All-Rookie Team last week, with four Lions (Jahmyr Gibbs, Sam LaPorta, Brian Branch, Jack Campbell). This week The Athletic did the same, with the same four Lions' rookie making the cut.

More validation of the Lions' 2023 draft class after it was criticized by many. Not that Brad Holmes seeks, wants or even needs validation with hindsight reviews.