By Ashley Scoby
The Lions are firing offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and offensive line coaches Jeremiah Washburn and Terry Heffernan.READ MORE: Salvation Army Collecting Supplies For Back To School Drive
According to the Lions, Jim Bob Cooter will take over as offensive coordinator, tight ends coach Ron Prince will take over as offensive line coach and Devin Fitzsimmons takes over the tight ends.
“Because we’re not productive,” head coach Jim Caldwell said. “That’s the key.”
Caldwell said that he had made the decision himself, and that he had not talked to ownership yet, “but I’m sure they’re supportive.”
Cooter will take over play-calling duties, according to Caldwell, and will have assistance from “run game coordinator” Curtis Modkins. Caldwell also said he expects some schematic changes to come under Cooter, but it won’t happen overnight.
“You can’t change an offense in its entirety in one week or two weeks’ time,” Caldwell said.READ MORE: Detroit Police Searching For Multiple Carjacking Suspects
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning had a close relationship with Cooter when the two previously worked together.
The news comes just a few hours after Caldwell said at Monday’s press conference that no changes to the staff had been made. He did say that the team was constantly evaluating “everything,” and that the coaching staff was part of that.
On the heels of a 1-6 start to the season, the Lions’ offensive line has consistently been the worst unit this season. They allowed seven sacks of Matthew Stafford Sunday against the Vikings, a team that beat up the quarterback in Week 2 as well.
The players on the offensive line have moved around constantly this season, either due to injury or performance, and consistency has been difficult to come by.
Detroit is 29th in the NFL in points per game (19.9) and last in the league in rushing yardage per game (68.0).MORE NEWS: Redford Man, 21, Charged In Assault Of Detroit Police Officers
“We don’t have a lot of time,” Caldwell said when asked why he made the decision before the team left for London Monday night, as opposed to when they return. “We’re running out of time.”