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Detroit Lions announce defensive coordinator, offensive line coach stepping away from football

Lions fired six members of staff earlier in week

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 27: Head coach Matt Patricia of the New York Giants looks on during the second half while playing the New York Giants at Ford Field on October 27, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 31-26. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 27: Head coach Matt Patricia of the New York Giants looks on during the second half while playing the New York Giants at Ford Field on October 27, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 31-26. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) (Getty Images)


DETROIT – The Detroit Lions announced defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni and offensive line coach Jeff Davidson will be stepping away from football.

The announcement comes just three days after Matt Patricia announced four assistant coaches and two members of the strength staff had been fired.

“Coach Pasqualoni notified me this week that he will be stepping away from the Lions to be closer to his family," Patricia said in a statement. "Coach P is one of the best men I’ve ever been around, on both personal and professional levels. I owe him so much and I’m grateful of the impact he had on our players, coaches and support staff. He will continue to be a great sounding board for me as a coach, father and leader. I wish him and his family well as they begin the new year together.”

Pasqualoni was with the Lions for two seasons and led a defense that ranked second-to-last in yards allowed per game and 26th in points allowed per game.

“Coach Davidson recently informed me that he will take an indefinite leave from coaching," Patricia said in a statement. "Jeff was an invaluable resource to me during the past two seasons and his leadership will be greatly missed. He has left the door open to a coaching return in future years and I fully support his personal decision to spend time away from the game. I thank him for his dedication to our team and wish him and his family all the best.”

Here are the coaches and staff members who were fired earlier in the week:

  • Special teams coordinator John Bonamego
  • Linebackers coach Al Golden
  • Assistant strength and performance coach Rodney Hill
  • Football performance coordinator Harold Nash
  • Defensive backs coach Brian Stewart
  • Tight ends coach Chris White

“These decisions are never easy and I’m thankful for the effort these men gave our team," Patricia said in the statement. "I will continue to evaluate our entire operation in the coming days and weeks and will always make decisions in the best interest of the team. I wish these coaches the best in their future endeavors.”

Detroit started the season 2-0-1 before completely falling apart with 12 losses in 13 games. Management announced Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn would return next season despite the team finishing with the third-worst record in the NFL.

Click here to read an open letter sent by Lions management to the fan base.


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