Dаn Cаmpbell: Lіons’ coordіnаtors ‘cаn reаd eаcһ otһer’s mіnds’ - Sport News

Dаn Cаmpbell: Lіons’ coordіnаtors ‘cаn reаd eаcһ otһer’s mіnds’

The Detroit Lions have two of the league’s most popular coordinators on their staff under head coach Dan Campbell.

Throughout the early part of the 2024 NFL offseason, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn were courted for a number of available head coach openings across the league.

The duo took several interviews, but each wound up opting to remain in Detroit for the upcoming season. Johnson made national waves when he spurned the Washington Commanders, citing a want to remain in Motown and compete for a Super Bowl after a disheartening loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

As a result of each deciding to stay, the Lions have unprecedented coordinator continuity heading into the fourth season of Campbell’s tenure. In a league where turnover is constant, Johnson is tied for the longest-tenured offensive coordinator while Glenn has been outlasted by only Cincinnati’s Lou Anarumo and Kansas City’s Steve Spagnuolo.

“I think it’s big. I think this is one of those, this doesn’t happen a lot. It just doesn’t, because usually things happen, in a good way or a bad way, by the time you hit four years,” Campbell said, via the team’s social media channel. “We’re in this, we’re in a position that’s a little different than teams have been in, in a good way, and it is big to have the continuity. It is big to — all these things that we’ve been doing for the last three years. The way that I think, the way I want things done, the way I know they think. In game situations, we’re kind of to the point where we can read each other’s minds. They know what I’m looking for and we get it done.”

Newcomers are ‘excellent additions’
In addition to all the returning members of the staff, the Lions made two prominent additions to the defensive group.

Terrell Williams takes over as the team’s defensive line coach, while Deshea Townsend assumes the role of defensive backs coach. Both will have roles in coordinating the unit as well, as Williams will have run-game duties and Townsend will operate the pass coverage group.

Both have lengthy resumes that speak to their abilities to lead. Campbell praised Williams, with whom he’s previously worked, for his prowess at developing defensive linemen.

“These will be excellent additions for our defense. I actually coached with Terrell Williams at Miami, he was our D-line coach when I coached out there with the Dolphins,” Campbell said. “So I know what he is, I know what he’s about. Everything and every player that he touches gets better. That’s what I do know. He is the best at developing talent on the D-line. He understands how to game plan, he understands how to really pull the most out of those guys. So he’s gonna be an excellent asset for us. I know A.G’s excited as well.”

Townsend, meanwhile, enjoyed a strong career playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers for 12 of his 13 NFL seasons. He logged 21 careeer interceptions and won two Super Bowls. He’s since transitioned to the coaching ranks, where he has spent 13 seasons amongst six NFL and college teams.

Now, Townsend will work with a revamped cornerback group that features new additions Carlton Davis and Amik Robertson.

“Deshea is another guy, he’s played a lot of years in this league and he’s coached now for a long time,” Campbell said. “He really cut his teeth under Dick LeBeau, the great defensive coordinator, but he’s got a great perspective on the game. He’s another guy I believe is a really good teacher and he can communicate with those guys and get things across.”

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