With head coach Dan Campbell stepping into an advisory role, three Detroit Lions assistant coaches are getting bumped to more prominent roles at the Senior Bowl.
At this year’s Senior Bowl, which was already going to have great value for the Detroit Lions coaching staff, the head coaches are stepping into advisory roles. That means select assistant coaches were going to be promoted to bigger roles, along the lines of helping build a pipeline of future head coaches.
For the Lions, the assistant coaches who would be promoted to coach the American team down in Mobile has always felt obvious. On Friday morning, it was officially announced.
Lions assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley will be the head coach, while tight ends coach Ben Johnson will be the offensive coordinator and defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator Aubrey Pleasant will be the defensive coordinator.
Via the Senior Bowl’s announcement, Staley offered a statement.
“We as a staff are excited to hit the ground running at the Senior Bowl. This week will serve as a valuable experience for all of us to help lead our coaching staff alongside Coach Campbell as we get to know this talented group of young men. We are looking forward to a great week of football in Mobile.”
Detroit Lions assistant coaches getting moment in the limelight
Staley, Johnson and Pleasant are rising stars in the coaching ranks.
Staley spent 10 seasons on the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff before landing on Dan Campbell’s staff in Detroit. He has the look of a future head coach.
Johnson was a holdover from Matt Patricia’s coaching staff, and had noted influence on the Lions’ improved offense late this season as he put himself in the mix to replace Anthony Lynn as offensive coordinator.
Pleasant landed on a league-wide list of rising young coaches a couple months ago. His work with a group that was hit by injuries and full of inexperience this year drew praise from Campbell. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn is set to interview for the New Orleans Saints head coaching job, and if he gets that job Pleasant would be a top candidate to step in.