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Detroit Lions fire special-teams coach Joe Marciano

Detroit Lions special-teams coach Joe Marciano has been fired after 3½ seasons with the franchise.

The 64-year-old Maricano had been with the franchise since the 2015 season, when John Bonamego left to become the head coach at Central Michigan University. He was one of a handful of holdovers from the Jim Caldwell coaching staff to the Matt Patricia staff.

The Lions did not announce Monday who would be replacing Marciano. Assistant special-teams coach Devin Fitzsimmons remains on staff. Evan Rothstein, whose current title is head coach assistant/research & analysis, also has special-teams experience. He was the Lions’ special-teams quality control coach in 2012 and 2013.

The Lions had been one of the more consistent units in the league during Marciano’s first three years in Detroit, but that phase fell off greatly this year, particularly in punt and kick coverage. The Lions averaged 36.90 net yards per punt this season — No. 29 in the league — and were allowing a league-worst 20.6 yards per punt return.

Detroit was also giving up 25.1 yards per kick return.

Under Marciano, kicker Matt Prater made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and returner Jamal Agnew was named an All-Pro as a rookie last season. The return unit took a hit, though, when Agnew injured a knee in Week 5 and the Lions had to place him on injured reserve.

Last month, Marciano was critical of his own performance when he last met with the media, particularly on kick coverage.

“I just haven’t done a good job,” Marciano said on Oct. 9. “I have to do a better job, to be honest with you.”

The Lions are tied for 24th in the league in special-teams penalties with 13.

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