Lions Reveal Multiple Organizational Firings Ahead of 2020

John Bonamego

Getty An NFL headshot for John Bonamego.

The Detroit Lions have made a dramatic move to shake up their coaching staff at the conclusion of a miserable 2019 season on the field.

Tuesday, the team revealed they were parting ways with John Bonamego, Al Golden, Rodney Hill, Harold Nash, Brian Stewart and Chris White. Bonamego coached special teams, Golden was a linebacker coach, Hill and Nash worked together on strength training. Stewart was a defensive backs coach, while White coached tight ends.

Here’s a look at the statement from Matt Patricia, posted to

“Today, our organization parted ways with John Bonamego, Al Golden, Rodney Hill, Harold Nash, Brian Stewart and Chris White. These decisions are never easy and I’m thankful for the effort these men gave our team. I will continue to evaluate our entire operation in the coming days and weeks and will always make decisions in the best interest of the team. I wish these coaches the best in their future endeavors.”

Notably missing from this list was Paul Pasqualoni, the team’s defensive coordinator. Evidently, Patricia is content to keep Pasqualoni and instead upgrade plenty of his position coaches. Perhaps Paqualoni is still under evaluation.

Either way, here’s a look at breaking down why several of the moves were made.

Lions Fire Al Golden

Like the defensive line, linebacker has been a spot of much struggle for the Lions. Golden switched from being a tight ends coach to being the linebackers coach when Patricia took over. It was an interesting switch, and the fact that names like Christian Jones and Jarrad Davis have run hot and cold under his leadership seemed to indicate a change should be coming at this spot. The Lions might have to find someone with more experience at this spot in order to get the best out of these players, and Golden obviously wasn’t the guy.

Lions Fire Brian Stewart

As in other positions, the Detroit defensive backfield has seemingly regressed under Patricia’s leadership as well as Stewart’s. The Lions haven’t been consistent enough in the second level with regard to ball skills and playmaking. That is what ended up costing Stewart his job, and realistically, Patricia needs to have Stewart replaced in order to get the proper reset of a key spot of the defense.

Lions Fire John Bonamego

The Lions just replaced their special teams staff last season, but Bonamego ended up being one and done. The reason? Inconsistency on Detroit’s special teams. There’s been breakdowns and penalties everywhere and it doesn’t seem as if the team has improved. Jamal Agnew, Matt Prater and Sam Martin have kept Bonamego from looking much worse, but other issues have persisted and the team hasn’t been great on this side of the ball. That should make Patricia motivated to change voices again, and in the end, that’s just what he did.

Lions Fire Harold Nash and Rodney Hill

In a bit of a surprising move, the team moved on from Nash and Hill, two guys they have had running the strength program. Nash came from New England, so the move to sack him is a bit of a surprise considering the history he has with Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia. Detroit had numerous injuries in 2019, and undoubtably, the team is blaming those at the feet of Nash and his staff. Injuiries told the story of the season, and obviously, the blame is falling heavy on the strength staff.

Lions Fire Chris White

Detroit’s tight end room was renovated to start 2019 and ended up disappointing on the field during the season. Rookie T.J. Hockenson is a huge player to develop, and he looked decent if not inconsistent in 2019. Big money addition Jesse James was a non-factor. Obviously, Patricia wants to find the right voice to take this group forward in a huge way, which is why he was dismissed.

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