The official announcement of Terrell Williams as the Detroit Lions' new defensive line coach has not yet come, but he's not the only new member of Dan Campbell's staff. According to Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report, Deshea Townsend is being hired as the Lions' new defensive passing game coordinator.
It's important to clarify that Townsend is a defensive coach, so his hiring as nothing to do with Tanner Engstrand, who has been the passing game coordinator on the offensive side this season. Engstrand has garnered interest for a few offensive coordinator jobs, with the Seattle Seahawks the one that remains unfilled that he has been connected to.
It's also worth noting the Lions did not have a defensive passing game coordinator this past season.
Townsend is another former NFL player on Campbell's staff. He played cornerback in the league for 13 seasons (1998-2010), the first 12 of them with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was a teammate of Lions' wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El for four seasons (2002-2005).
Townsend entered coaching in 2011. He worked as passing game coordinator/cornerbacks coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars over the last two seasons. He has also worked for the Arizona Cardinals (2011-2012), Tennessee Titans (2016-2017, New York Giants (2018) and the Chicago Bears (2019-2021), with a three-year stint at Mississippi State (2013-2015) as well.
Lions add Deshea Townsend to coaching staff
Pro Football Talk added Townsend will also have the title of cornerbacks coach to go with defensive passing game coordinator duties. That would mean Dre' Bly is out of a job after one season as the Lions' cornerbacks coach, though there's a chance he's retained in a different role.
The Lions finished the regular season 27th in the league in pass defense, while allowed 12.3 yards per completion (tied for worst in the league) and 7.8 yards per attempt (second-worst in the. There was a consecutive five-game stretch late, including the playoffs, where they allowed over 320 passing yards.
So some things have to be done to fix things there, and apparently it will start with a new cornerbacks coach.