Lions add Dave Fipp as special teams coordinator

Detroit News

Justin Rogers
| The Detroit News

The Detroit Lions will have hired their fourth special teams coordinator in four years, adding veteran coach Dave Fipp to Dan Campbell’s staff. 

Fipp had been working as Philadelphia’s special teams coordinator since 2013.

During his tenure at Philadelphia, the Eagles ranked second in both special teams touchdowns and blocked kicks. The team tallied scores on four kickoff returns, four punt returns, four blocked punts, while blocking 18 total kicks. 

In special teams rankings compiled annually by veteran NFL reporter Rick Gosselin, the Eagles have never finished lower than 19th, while topping the charts in both 2014 and 2016. 

Fipp inherits a special teams group in Detroit coming off an outstanding year, but also in flux. Longtime kicker Matt Prater and dynamic return man Jamal Agnew are both set to be unrestricted free agents in March. 

On the plus side, punter Jack Fox, who set franchises records for gross and net average in 2020, will be back in 2021. 

The Lions have experienced heavy coaching turnover on special teams in recent years. Former coach Matt Patricia fired coordinator Joe Marciano in the middle of the 2018 season prior to bringing back John Bonamego for a second stint with the franchise ahead of the 2019 season. 

Bonamego lasted just one year before he was replaced by first-year coordinator Brayden Coombs. He had the group performing near the top of the league before he was fired late in the season for calling a fake punt without clearing it with interim coach Darrell Bevell. 

Prior to Philadelphia, Fipp spent two seasons as Miami’s special teams coordinator and three years as a special teams assistant in San Francisco. He also has several years of college coaching experience, including three years as San Jose State’s defensive coordinator. 

Fipp’s time in Miami overlapped with Campbell, who was the team’s tight end coach during those two seasons. The Dolphins ranked second and fourth those seasons, according to Gosselin’s rankings. 

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