By: Will Burchfield
When Matt Patricia officially becomes head coach of the Lions in two weeks’ time, the rest of the coaching staff is expected to undergo some sweeping changes.
Especially on defense, things will look vastly different in 2018.
Per the Free Press, Patricia notified multiple members of Detroit’s coaching staff last week that they won’t be returning.
As a defensive mind, it’s no surprise that Patricia plans to bring in his own regime on that side of the ball. Former defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has already left for the Bengals, and both defensive line coaches have departed as well.
That leaves linebackers coach Bill Sheridan, defensive backs coaches Tony Oden and Alan Williams, quality control coach Steven Williams and special projects coach George Godsey. Patricia, who will have full autonomy over his staff, is expected to replace all of them.
The staff on the other side of the ball appears to be more secure. The expectation is that Patricia will keep offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, who has a great relationship with Matthew Stafford. Cooter’s assistants may stay as well.
The Free Press reported that wide receivers coach Robert Prince and tight ends coach Al Golden are both at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. representing the Lions. Assistant special teams coach Devin Fitzsimmons is on hand as well.
The Lions can’t officially hire Patricia until the Patriots’ season ends. If they wish, they can meet with him for a second time this week.