The Lions fired fourth-year special teams coach Joe Marciano. Matt Patricia informed Marciano of the decision on Monday night.
Patricia opted to change up Detroit’s defensive staff from the previous regime but kept Marciano, OC Jim Bob Cooter and some offensive position coaches. The Lions are changing course midway through the season.
Detroit ranks in the top 10 in kickoff returns but sits toward the bottom in punt returns and kickoff coverage. The Lions’ net punting average ranks 31st. Football Outsiders ranked the Lions’ special teams in the top 10 in both 2016 and ’17. This year, they’re 29th.
Patricia retained both Marciano, 64, and assistant ST coach Devin Fitzsimmons this offseason. Fitzsimmons has not been fired.
Marciano’s been an NFL special teams coach since 1986, beginning that run as the Saints’ ST coordinator. His tenure in this capacity dates back to the USFL days, when he worked as the Philadelphia Stars’ ST boss beginning in 1983. Marciano’s longest ST-coaching tenure came with the Texans, serving in that role from the franchise’s 2002 inception through the 2013 season. He was the Vikings’ ST coordinator in 2014 prior to moving to Detroit.