Lions Hire Former NFL Defensive Back To Coaching Staff: Report

Tony Carter

Getty Tony Carter reacts to playing in the Super Bowl.

The Detroit Lions have made another addition to their coaching staff, and this one has yet another direct tie to the football field.

Veteran defensive back Tony Carter, who played for 8 seasons in the NFL, has reportedly agreed to join Matt Patricia’s staff as a defensive assistant. Carter is likely to chip in coaching up the secondary and working in that role given he played as a cornerback during his time in the league.

ESPN’s Field Yates was first to reveal the news of Carter linking up with Patricia and the Lions ahead of the 2020 NFL season.

It’s possible Detroit elevates another defensive assistant Steve Gregory to coach of the defensive backs, as he was on staff with Patricia before learning the ropes of that role. Potentially, Carter can slide into Gregory’s role as a former player learning the coaching ropes in Detroit if that move happens.

Tony Carter Biography

To start his career, Carter was an undrafted free agent out of Florida State that played for the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts during his time in the league. He didn’t have a deep run of stats, but did contribute 3 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries and 3 defensive touchdowns in the league to go with 49 interceptions. As was pointed out, Carter last played in the league during the 2016 season.

Obviously, the connection here for the Lions and Carter is Patricia. He was coaching with the Patriots when Carter played there, and would no doubt understand how motivated Carter was to get into coaching. Obviously, that motivation is pretty high given him joining the Detroit staff.

At 33, Carter is a youngster with plenty of time to craft a solid coaching career ahead of him.

Lions Fired Brian Stewart

Earlier this month, 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.”

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 needed to have Stewart replaced in order to get the proper reset of a key spot of the defense.

Now that it will happen, it’s refreshing to see another NFL player joining the mix and getting his feet wet in the coaching profession.

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