Detroit Lions’ OL coach Hank Fraley among assistants in demand as coaching shuffle begins

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
| Detroit Free Press

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While the Detroit Lions are looking for their next head coach, some of their current assistants are in demand elsewhere.

Offensive line coach Hank Fraley is expected to interview for the vacant Cincinnati Bengals offensive line coaching job on Saturday.

Fraley oversaw one of the Lions’ best and most consistent groups this season, despite a rotating cast of linemen due to injuries.

Lions showing they’ve learned from mistakes with new approach to GM, coach search ]

The Lions allowed 42 sacks and ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in rushing while starting seven different combinations, but center Frank Ragnow made the Pro Bowl in his third season and Taylor Decker emerged as one of the best left tackles in the NFL.

“I think our position group had a really good year,” Decker said. “I would say in five years, this is the best we’ve played consistently, and I think we have some really good pieces to build on. It seems like I’m the old guy in the room and I’m 27, so hopefully that bodes well for the future.”

The Bengals ranked 25th in the NFL in sack percentage this season, allowing sacks on 8.3% of their pass plays, and are looking for better protection for quarterback Joe Burrow in his second season in 2021.

Meet the Lions GM candidate: Terry Fontenot played big role in Saints’ success ]

Burrow tore his ACL when he was hit on a dropback in a Week 11 loss to Washington.

Fraley played 11 NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Rams, and spent the 2018-19 seasons as the Lions’ assistant offensive line coach.

Lions quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan also is leading candidate to join Matt Rhule’s staff with the Carolina Panthers, who lost quarterbacks coach Jake Peetz to LSU earlier this week.

Defensive line coach Bo Davis will take the same position at Texas, according to Davis previously coached at Texas in 2011-13.

More: Lions president Rod Wood’s coach/GM search update: Coach hire could come first

Related: Detroit GM candidate Brad Holmes has a first-round pick in his family tree

The Lions fired head coach Matt Patricia in November and special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs last month, but have retained the rest of their staff for now while allowing them to look for other jobs.

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who served the final five games as interim head coach, interviewed for the permanent job on Tuesday.

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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