The Detroit Lions have seen their coaching staff take a big shakeup in recent days, and in the coming days, the team will be looking to hire plenty of new assistants.
While precious few names have surfaced thus far in the early stages of the process, an interesting one might be coming up in the form of a former rival. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reminds that the Lions were very interested in offensive line coach Harry Hiestand prior to him joining the staff in Chicago.
Hiestand has had an expansive coaching career, but he has seen his NFL ties land closest to the Lions with the Chicago Bears. Two separate times, Hiestand has been the offensive line coach for the Bears, working for the team from 2005-2009 and again from 2018-2019. He recently lost his job as part of a shakeup for the Bears.
Detroit is looking for a coach after Jeff Davidson walked away, and it will be interesting to see who they consider. Hiestand is an interesting name that will be worth watching in the days ahead.
If the Lions do promote from within, a name to watch is Hank Fraley, the team’s assistant offensive line coach under Davidson.
Jeff Davidson and Paul Pasqualoni Moving on
Defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni as well as offensive line coach Jeff Davidson are walking away from coaching, the team revealed. In a statement posted to DetroitLions.com, Matt Patricia thanked the duo for their years of service in the league.
Here’s how they read:
On Jeff Davidson:
“Coach Davidson recently informed me that he will take an indefinite leave from coaching. Jeff was an invaluable resource to me during the past two seasons and his leadership will be greatly missed. He has left the door open to a coaching return in future years and I fully support his personal decision to spend time away from the game. I thank him for his dedication to our team and wish him and his family all the best.”
On Paul Pasqualoni:
“Coach Pasqualoni notified me this week that he will be stepping away from the Lions to be closer to his family. Coach P is one of the best men I’ve ever been around, on both personal and professional levels. I owe him so much and I’m grateful of the impact he had on our players, coaches and support staff. He will continue to be a great sounding board for me as a coach, father and leader. I wish him and his family well as they begin the new year together.”
That brings two more coaches to the mix that the team will need, taking the total to six. The Lions also need a strength staff, so multiple hires will be on tap for 2020 for the team.
Harry Hiestand’s Biography
Hiestand is as close to a football lifer as anybody, given how long he’s been in the game. He’s seen college jobs on the offensive side for seven different stops, including Illinois and Missouri and Notre Dame from 2012-2017. In the NFL, he’s coached not only with the Chicago Bears, but the Tennessee Titans.
Hiestand has developed plenty of young linemen along the way, particularly at his stop with the Fighting Irish. Some of the names? Zack Martin, Chris Watt, Ronnie Stanley, Nick Martin, Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey. For the Lions, that would be the most interesting and intriguing part of hiring someone like Hiestand given the change they want to take place up front.
Now, he’s available and the Lions may be a potential team to remember for his services.
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