Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez take a critical view of the Lions’ 2018 season and this staff, and discuss reasons to believe in 2019, Dec. 31, 2018.
Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Lions made more changes to their coaching staff Wednesday, parting ways with offensive assistant Derius Swinton.

Swinton, the San Francisco 49ers’ special-teams coach in 2016, had just finished his first season with the Lions after spending last year with the Chicago Bears.

Along with offensive responsibilities, he helped out coaching special teams after coordinator Joe Marciano was fired in early November.

The Lions announced Tuesday they were not renewing Jim Bob Cooter’s contract as offensive coordinator, and there could be more staff changes coming.

Matt Patricia inherited Cooter, wide receivers coach Robert Prince and running backs coach David Walker from former coach Jim Caldwell’s staff, and moved Al Golden from tight ends to linebackers coach and George Godsey from defensive assistant to quarterbacks coach.

The Lions significantly underachieved on offense this year, finishing 24th in total offense and 25th in scoring offense.

Patricia said Monday that he wanted to take some time after the season to let emotions cool down before making any decisions on his staff.

“I think it’s only fair at this point of the season for all aspects of the team, players, coaches, personnel, all of it, to allow the emotion of the season to come down and for everybody to just have that opportunity to clear your head and then go back through and analyze everything at that standpoint to see what is best for the team moving forward, in all aspects,” Patricia said. “It’s not just coaching. It’s support staff, it’s players, it’s scheduling, it’s everything from that standpoint. So, we’ll definitely evaluate everybody.”


The Lions signed running back Mark Thompson to a futures contract on Wednesday. Thompson joins former Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook and five players from this season’s practice squad in signing futures deals. He spent time on the practice squads of the Baltimore Ravens and New New York Jets in 2018.

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