Lions Jettison Coaching Staff On Eve Of London Trip

(ALLEN PARK, MI) – The Detroit Lions travelled to London, England, yesterday for their Week 8 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. The Lions and Chiefs meet for the 13th time in the teams’ series history, this time as participants in the NFL’s 2015 International Series at London’s Wembley Stadium.

The game marks the Lions’ second-consecutive year playing in London after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 22-21 at Wembley last season. The last time the Lions and Chiefs met, Detroit claimed victory, 48-3 at Ford Field on September 18, 2011. Kansas City leads the all-time series, 7-5-0.

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell announced yesterday that, effective immediately, changes to the coaching staff. Caldwell named Jim Bob Cooter offensive coordinator, Ron Prince assistant head coach/offensive line, Curtis Modkins running backs coach/run game coordinator, and Devin Fitzsimmons tight ends coach.

“We have released Joe Lombardi, Jeremiah Washburn, and Terry Heffernan. We’ve made some adjustments in staff,” Caldwell told the assembled media. “There are hard-working men that did a great job for us working extremely hard for us. I’ve been in this position myself three times. It’s happened to me and it’s certainly not fun, your families, wives, and all those kinds of things. So understand I’m not in a great mood.”

Caldwell indicated that the lack of productivity from the team resulted in the necessary changes to the coaching staff for the Lions.

“The big thing is just production. That’s the key,” he said. We don’t have a lot of time. We’re running out of time.”

There isn’t much time to make drastic adjustments to the Lions offence with an intercontinental trip and game in London looming. But Caldwell downplayed just how much change would be coming.

“It’s no different when I took over play calling at Baltimore, no one expected me to come in and change the entire offense and change it to what we did in Indianapolis in two days. We’re not set up for that,” said Caldwell. “So, we’ll make the necessary adjustments according to things that we think we can get accomplished effectively enough to win this next game. Kansas City is our focus.”

You can catch the Lions in London on November 1, with Sam Rosen and  John Lynch in the booth and Pam Oliver on the sidelines, on Fox. Or catch them on the wireless at 97.1 The Ticket with Dan Miller, Jim Brandstatter, and Tony Ortiz.

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Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata
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