Joe Marciano

Lions Fire Special Teams Coach Joe Marciano

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.

Coaching Rumors: Judge, Lions, Fins, Eagles

Other teams besides the Colts were interested in adding Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge, Mike Reiss of reports, but Judge and the Pats are finalizing a deal that will keep him in New England. The 36-year-old assistant will be the team’s special teams coordinator for a fourth season. The sides are ironing out minor details, but Reiss reports the deal to retain Judge is imminent, as Ian Rapoport of reported earlier this week. Judge was a possible defection candidate if McDaniels had followed through on taking the Colts’ HC job.

Here’s the latest from the coaching circuit as we head into the offseason’s first official weekend.

  • Staying with special teams, the Lions are not going to overhaul their ST staff as they did their defensive coaching contingent. ST coordinator Joe Marciano and assistant ST coach Devin Fitzimmons will return next season, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports. An NFL special teams coach since 1986, Marciano has been with the Lions since 2015.
  • Detroit continued to configure its defensive staff on Thursday, hiring Bo Davis to instruct its defensive linemen, the team announced. Davis will join the Lions after spending most of the past two decades on Nick Saban‘s staffs at LSU, the Dolphins and Alabama. However, Davis’ Crimson Tide tenure — one that included coaching current Lions lineman A’Shawn Robinson, ended in 2016 when he resigned from Alabama due to NCAA violations. Davis, however, resurfaced at Texas-San Antonio last season and coached first-round defensive end hopeful Marcus Davenport.
  • The Eagles have lost their quarterbacks coach, but they are prepared to fill the void internally. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer expects the team to move receivers coach Mike Groh to quarterbacks coach and assistant quarterbacks coach Press Taylor to WRs coach (Twitter link).
  • Former Dolphins safety Renaldo Hill will now work with the team as a coach, being hired as Miami’s assistant defensive backs coach. The team notes this is the 10th former Dolphins player to serve as a Fins coach. Hill, who played 10 NFL seasons and spent three seasons (2006-08) in Miami, has coached at Wyoming and the University of Pittsburgh since 2012. This will be his first NFL coaching gig.
  • Prior to hiring Tom Bradley to be their new defensive backs coach, the Steelers interviewed South Florida DBs coach Blue Adams, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. Mike Tomlin coached Adams while he was an assistant at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Despite the Texans blocking the Broncos from interviewing Wes Welker, the Broncos will see their six-year strength and conditioning coach depart for Houston. Luke Richesson will become the Texans’ strength coach, 9News’ Mike Klis reports, with the team set to give him a bigger role than he had in Denver.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

Lions Hire Special Teams Coach Joe Marciano

The Lions have hired Joe Marciano to be their special teams coach, reports Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, per Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter). Marciano served as the Vikings interim special teams coordinator last year, and spent 11 seasons previously with the Houston Texans (Twitter link).

He replaces John Bonamego, who accepted the head coaching position at Central Michigan University.


Sunday Roundup: Manziel, Marciano, Chiefs

As teams try to improve upon their performances from the first week of preseason games, let’s take a look at some links from around the league: