(Until training camp starts at the end of July, Lions Lowdown will post five times a week using the list format.)
No one knows for sure if Jim Schwartz is on or will be on the coaching hot seat this season. One thing is for certain he made some changes to his coaching staff in preparation for this season.
Top six coaching changes:
1. Jeremiah Washburn (in photo), who has been the assistant offensive line coach for four years, moves up to replace George Yarno who has left the organization.
2. Jim Washburn, Jeremiah’s dad, has been named a defensive consultant. The veteran NFL defensive coach will help out specifically on the defensive line where young and inexperienced are the key words.
3. Tim Lappano, who had coached tight ends, now is working with the wide receivers replacing Shawn Jefferson.
4. Curtis Modkins, who was with the Buffalo Bills the last three seasons, has been hired as the running backs coach. He developed Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller so should be a good fit with the young running backs group.
5. John Bonamego has replaced Danny Crossman as special teams coordinator. Special teams had some issues last season due in part to personnel. Bonamego will work with mostly new players including kicker and punter.
6. Jeff Backus will return as a part-time coaching intern working with the offensive line. His experience will be a huge benefit to Riley Reiff, Jason Fox, Corey Hilliard, Larry Warford and the rest.