Detroit Lions officially announce coaching staff changes

The Detroit Lions announced coaching staff changes on Wednesday.
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Reports over the last few weeks pointed to the Detroit Lions having a new defensive line coach (Terrell Williams) and a new coach in the secondary (Deshea Townsend).

On Wednesday, the team officially announced the hiring of Williams as the new defensive line coach/run game coordinator and Townsend and their new defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator. Townsend will replace Brian Duker, who left to take a job with the Miami Dolphins.

A third new hire was also announced, with Jim O'Neil coming aboard as a defensive assistant.

O'Neil was most recently the defensive coordinator at Northwestern (2021 and 2022), but before that he spent 11 seasons as an NFL assistant with the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.

O'Neil also has three seasons of NFL defensive coordinator experience, two with the Browns (2014-2015) and one with the 49ers (2016). He has mostly coached defensive backs over the course of his coaching career, which seems to drive

Detroit Lions announce coaching staff changes; six coaches gone

Six coaches, many on the defensive side of the ball, are no longer listed on the Lions' website.

  • Senior offensive assistant Jim Hostler
  • Defensive quality control coach Wayne Blair
  • Defensive line coach John Scott Jr.
  • Cornerbacks coach Dre' Bly
  • Defensive backs coach Brian Duker
  • Senior defensive assistant John Fox

Duker, as mentioned, left to become the Dolphins' secondary coach/passing game coordinator. Scott is being replaced by Williams. Initial reports had Townsend becoming the cornerbacks coach for the Lions, but despite his title being broader (in place of Duker) Bly is still gone.

The Lions do appear to have some vacancies left to fill on their 2024 coaching staff-cornerbacks coach, defensive quality control and an offensive assistant. But in terms of the most notable changes and hires, previously reported (Williams and Townsend) and not (O'Neil), those are now official.

5 free agents who could follow Terrell Williams to the Detroit Lions. 5 free agents who could follow Terrell Williams to the Detroit Lions. dark. Next