The Detroit Lions have cast a wide net in terms of their hires, and have been attracting some of the best talent in the NFL to join Dan Campbell’s staff.
This time, they’ve pillaged an NFC North rival to add to their staff. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Lions will be hiring Chicago Bears’ inside linebacker coach Mark DeLeone to coach linebackers in Detroit. In doing so, DeLeone will leave one of the more successful position groups on the Bears defense to make a big leap.
During this cycle, the Lions have frustrated the Bears by intercepting some of their staff targets. Chicago reportedly had interest in Aaron Glenn for defensive coordinator and also with adding Duce Staley to the staff. Detroit snatched both options and managed to beef up their own staff to Chicago’s detriment. Now, stealing from their actual staff will add further insult to injury.
DeLeone does have a tie to Detroit built in with John Dorsey given their time in Kansas City overlapped, so it would be interesting if Detroit’s new personnel executive had a hand in this move.
Mark DeLeone Biography
A coaching lifer, DeLeone is just 33 but has tons of experience packed into the early part of his career. After starting in Iowa as a defensive student assistant for 2007 and 2008, he went to New Hampshire, Florida and Temple in a variety of roles learning the trade. In 2012, he got his first break into the league as a defensive assistant for the New York Jets. From 2013-2015, he was a quality control coach on defense with Kansas City, then getting the title of assistant linebackers coach from 2016-2017 with the Chiefs. He coaches inside linebackers in Kansas City in 2018, then went to Chicago to join Matt Nagy as the team’s inside linebackers coach from 2019 and 2020.
DeLeone has worked with several solid players such as Reggie Ragland, Roquan Smith, Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson and others. He has a stiff challenge in Detroit, where the team’s linebacking group has struggled.
Lions Coaching Staff Hires Solid
With Anthony Lynn now coming into the mix as offensive coordinator and the Lions officially revealing they have hired Aaron Glenn to be their new defensive coordinator, the team’s top coaches are now firmly in the mix. From here on out, Campbell will have to go about filling out the position coach list moving forward. They have reportedly added a few big time names in Duce Staley and Aubrey Pleasant, which is a good start as it relates position coaches. Dave Fipp also joined to coach special teams. Clearly, Campbell is on a roll in terms of attracting some big name talent to Detroit as these hires prove. The players have guys who have been there and done that leading them, which is significant to note.
It will be interesting to see what DeLeone can bring to the mix in terms of helping out one of the weakest groups on Matt Patricia’s team.