Allen Park — The Detroit Lions are bringing back one of the team's special teams standouts, agreeing to terms on a deal with Miles Killebrew.
A fourth-round draft pick in 2016, Killebrew has been one of the team's top kick-coverage players in recent years. His 15 special teams tackles in 2019 ranked fourth in the NFL, one behind the league-leaders.
Killebrew played a career-high 353 defensive snaps in 2017, but saw that drop to zero the following season as the Lions experimented with moving him to linebacker under new coach Matt Patricia.
Killebrew added weight and embraced the challenge, impressing the coaching staff this past offseason and seeing a small defensive role late in the year.
"I think he did a really good job during training camp," Patricia said in November. "I think he built a lot of confidence in himself, and certainly through myself and the coaching staff that he was ready to go in some of the packages that we had.
"He’s always ready to go, he’s a great student of the game. I think his confidence is at a high level of understanding kind of Year 2 of the defense. Some of the things that we’re asking him to do and different roles and different alignments, I just think he feels comfortable with that."
The Lions have bolstered their special teams in free agency, agreeing to contracts with former Vikings safety Jayron Kearse and cornerback Tony McRae, who played under new Lions special teams coach Brayden Coombs in Cincinnati.