Lions Fire High-Rising Assistant Coach After Major Mistake

Lions Helmet

Getty A Lions helmet on the bench in Dallas.

It’s become a season of firings for the Detroit Lions, and on Monday, they revealed yet another one that ended up being a major surprise.

Detroit revealed they had relieved special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs of his duties. Coombs had been hired last offseason by the Lions and Matt Patricia to take over a special teams group which was struggling on the field, and thus far he has done that for the most part. Coombs was merely the latest to get a pink slip, however.

Many had lauded Coombs for the role he’s played within the turnaround this season for Detroit’s special teams. Jack Fox has been arguably the best punter in football, Matt Prater has remained fairly consistent at kicker and the team’s return units have produced decent results lately while preventing opposing teams from getting too much going in the return game.

When Patricia was fired, many called for Coombs to become the head coach. Instead, he is merely the latest to get fired. Marquise Williams is elevated to the role of special teams coach for the team.


Brayden Coombs Firing ‘Cultural’ Decision

So why fire Coombs? According to those on the Lions’ beat, the team was unhappy about Coombs calling a fake punt without the knowledge of Darrell Bevell and the coaching staff in Detroit’s loss to Tennessee. That fake punt ended up not working out, and Detroit lost the game. Eventually, Coombs’ firing was made by Bevell and approved by Rod Wood.

More than the punt, though, Coombs was described to be more about himself than the team, making him a bad cultural fit.

The whole situation is a paradox considering special teams is the one part of the game the 2020 Lions can count on for the most part. There is little doubt Coombs will catch on somewhere else eventually considering his age, but he will likely have to answer for this abrupt exit in Detroit and the way it played out.


Brayden Coombs Biography

This past offseason team revealed they had hired Coombs to be their next special teams coordinator. Coombs comes to Detroit having worked for the Bengals for seven years. He joined the staff shortly after college and had worked with the team since then. At the end of this season, Coombs’ deal expired, making him coaching’s version of a free agent.

Here’s a bit more on Coombs’ biography from the Lions press release on the hire at DetroitLions.com:

“Coombs comes to Detroit after spending the previous 10 seasons (2010-19) with the Cincinnati Bengals, including the last seven seasons as the team’s assistant special teams coach. During his time in Cincinnati, he served various capacities in addition to his role with special teams, including offensive assistant (2012), quality control (2013-15), defensive quality control (2016-17) and offensive quality control (2018). He originally joined the Bengals staff in 2009 as a coaching intern.

A for­mer wide receiver at Miami (Ohio) University, Coombs played for the RedHawks for four years and earned a degree in business.

Coombs is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. He and his wife, Alexia, have a daughter, Harper, and two sons, Cam and KJ.”

Additionally, Coombs’ father Kerry Coombs was a long time assistant for the Ohio State Buckeyes, so he has some excellent football bloodlines to draw back on. In his first season with the Lions, Coombs had made some waves with his solid work, but all of that comes to a screeching halt after this news surfaced.

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