New Lions' defensive backs coach Deshea Townsend sends a message to new pupils

Deshea Townsend will tasked with fostering notable improvement for the Lions' pass defense, and he has quickly sent a message to his new pupils.

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After another season where the pass defense struggled, the Detroit Lions have made a change to who's coaching the secondary. Deshea Townsend is coming in as the defense backs coach and defensive pass game coordinator. Previous defensive backs coach Brian Duker left for the Miami Dolphins, and cornerbacks coach Dre' Bly was not retained after one season in that role.

Townsend played 11 NFL season at cornerback, mostly with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has been in coaching since 2011, most recently serving as cornerbacks coach/passing game coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars over the last two seasons.

This week at the NFL Combine, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said Townsend is "gonna be able to deliver exactly what AG wants on the back end."

Via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, Townsend's admiration for Glenn goes back to when was entering the NFL and Glenn had been in the league as a very good cornerback for a little while.

Townsend is still taking a full accounting of the players he's inheriting. Overlayed with that, he's also being put to work evaluating draft prospects and upcoming free agents as the Lions' eye changing the cornerback depth chart.

Deshea Townsend sends instant message to new pupils

Townsend had his first meeting with Lions' beat writers at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this week. Via Rogers, he had a clear message to his new pupils in the Detroit secondary.

"If you won't tackle, you won't play," Townsend said. "That's it. If it's on the tape you won't tackle, you can't play. Ultimately, I'm just looking for guys that don't shy away from contact, that's willing to throw it there."

According to Pro Football Focus, the Lions' defense had the fifth-worst tackling grade in the league last season. That's not 100 percent on the secondary of course, but Townsend is clearly intent on having his unit play a key part in fixing it.

Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (subscription required), Townsend obviously also wants to foster an atmosphere of competition and continually earning your place.

"When I get in the room, I tell the young guys it’s your job to take the starters’ job, and the starters, it’s your job to hold them off. And that’s the same way in coaching. You got to make sure you’re doing your best at every opportunity, you have to prove yourself daily and I wouldn’t expect anything different from myself that I expect from them.”

Townsend's experience, both as a player and a coach, might do the trick to help the Lions' pass defense be far better. Overall, it looks like he'll fit right in on Campbell's coaching staff.

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