Lions Could Lose Key Offensive Coach to Panthers

Matt Rhule

Getty Matt Rhule coaching Baylor.

The Detroit Lions have seen a major staff turnover already this offseason, and they could be set to lose an important coach to an NFC rival.

Quarterback coach Sean Ryan is expected to join Matt Rhule’s staff with the Carolina Panthers as the team’s offensive coordinator. CBS Sports analyst Jason La Canfora explained that Rhule would be targeting Ryan as well as Phil Snow to be his coordinator combination in the league.

Additionally, According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, Rhule was expected to target Ryan as well as Snow no matter where he ended up. Vacchiano’s piece implied Ryan might join Rhule in New York, but the coach was snapped up by the Panthers, then meaning Ryan could be heading southward.

Here’s a look at what he wrote on the possibility of Ryan becoming a key piece of Rhule’s new staff:

“Rhule is expected to hire Lions quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan as his offensive coordinator wherever he goes, and it is believed he’ll bring Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Snow along to coach the defense.”

If that ends up being the pairing, the Lions will have to fill yet another role on their staff. This offseason, the team has seen over a handful of vacancies including the all-important post of defensive coordinator.

Detroit’s offensive staff was largely untouched due to the good work of Darrell Bevell, but they will be hunting for a new tight end coach after filling their offensive line position in-house with Hank Fraley.

Sean Ryan’s Resume

Ryan has been a quality hire wherever he has gone and has shown an ability to develop quarterbacks. After a long stint coaching in college, he started his pro career in 2007 with the New York Giants where he got to know Rhule while working his way up to coaching quarterbacks and wideouts. From there, Rhule went on to coach with the Houston Texans where he worked with DeShaun Watson. During his stop in New York, Ryan worked with Eli Manning. In Detroit, he has been the quarterback coach for Matthew Stafford for just one season. Interestingly, it was a season in which Stafford showed major signs of growth prior to suffering injury.

If he’s the choice for Carolina, Ryan will have to work with Cam Newton, or another quarterback if the Panthers decide to go in a different direction. Given his work in the past, it could be smart to think that Ryan will be able to translate to coordinator.

Lions Quarterbacks Under Sean Ryan

The reason losing Ryan would hurt Detroit most is the work he’s done with Matthew Stafford and company. In 2019, the Lions suffered a crisis at quarterback, and Ryan’s group was prepared. Second stringer Jeff Driskel played serviceably, and third string rookie David Blough didn’t look overmatched upon being thrust into the league.

All of this only serves to prove why Ryan might be an up and coming offensive mind that could be set to do big things at the next level as a coordinator. His work during a short time in Detroit does little to discredit that.

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