Dan Campbell is adding another former NFL player to his coaching staff.
Antwaan Randle El is joining the Lions staff as a wide receivers coach, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported.
Randle El spent the last two seasons on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ staff as an offensive assistant, and while he’ll have to be fitted for his Super Bowl LV ring remotely, he’ll enjoy a promotion in Detroit. Randle El will head north knowing he’ll at least have former Wisconsin receiver Quintez Cephus to work with, but he’ll have to wait to learn whether Detroit will bring back 30-year-old Marvin Jones or 27-year-old Kenny Golladay (the latter should be a no-brainer).
In the meantime, we can sit back and reflect on perhaps the most athletic coaching staff in NFL history. As Pelissero noted with a follow-up tweet, the Lions staff could fill out a formidable seven-on-seven squad: Head coach Campbell (tight end), offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn (RB), assistant HC/running backs coach Duce Staley (RB), quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell (QB), and offensive line coach Hank Fraley (C). Move defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn over to receiver to catch some passes — no, this isn’t the time to say defensive backs play their position because they can’t catch — and you’ve got yourself a solid squad.
As a player, Randle El was a walking mismatch, excelling as a quarterback at Indiana before making the switch to receiver as a second-round pick of the Steelers in 2002. He played nine seasons in the NFL between Pittsburgh (2002-2005, 2010) and Washington (2006-2009), catching 370 passes for 4,467 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also ran the ball 79 times for 438 yards, and completed 22-of-27 career passing attempts for 323 yards and six touchdowns.
He’ll hope to bring the spark he once provided for NFL offenses to the Lions as they start a new era under Campbell.
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