The Detroit Lions have some stability on their coaching staff.
Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew confirmed today that the team signed all three of its coordinators to new contracts. Those signings took place during the regular season but were not previously disclosed.
The re-signing of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan is good news for Detroit, where one of the best offensive attacks in the league is coming into place. Linehan was hired in 2009, a couple months before the Lions selected Matthew Stafford with the first overall pick in the NFL draft, and Stafford has steadily grown in Linehan’s offense. It makes sense to keep the offense going in the same direction.
Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham seemed to have his unit going in the right direction early in the season, but as the year wore on the Lions’ defense began to struggle, and in Week 17 of the regular season against the Packers and their loss to the Saints in the playoffs, the Lions’ defense simply couldn’t get off the field. The decision to re-sign Cunningham doesn’t look as great now as it did at the time it was made.
And special teams coordinator Danny Crossman’s units also struggled, giving up a lot more big plays on punts and kickoffs than they made in the return game. But Crossman has been given a new contract, too.
The bottom line is that this is the first coaching staff since 1999 to lead the Lions to the playoffs, and the Lions want to keep that staff in place. Mayhew said the team is working on new deals for head coach Jim Schwartz and all the other assistants as well, and Detroit would like to have the same coaching staff in 2012 that it had in 2011.