Lions make multiple coaching staff changes, will tweak defensive scheme

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Indianapolis — Following the promotion of Ben Johnson to offensive coordinator and the dismissal of outside linebacker coach Mark DeLeone last month, the Detroit Lions have made multiple adjustments to the team's coaching staff. 

On Tuesday, coach Dan Campbell announced Kelvin Sheppard will be moved from outside linebackers to inside linebackers, while David Corrao will shift from his role as director of football research to work with the outside linebackers. 

Lions head coach Dan Campbell on Tuesday announced several changes within his coaching staff.

Corrao, who has been with the Lions the past four years, has previous coaching experience, working with linebackers at both the University of Mississippi (2007) and with the Miami Dolphins (2010-15). 

Additionally, defensive line coach Todd Wash is expected to have an expanded role working with the outside linebackers as the Lions are expected to make a change to their defensive scheme. 

"We're kind of altering a little bit what we do defensively," Campbell said. "We'll be a little bit more of a four-down (linemen) type, if you will. Certainly still three-down, odd (front) principles."

Campbell said the changes aren't wholesale, but are designed to provide more schematic flexibility, while better fitting the team's personnel. It should also be a better fit for the team's off-ball linebackers. 

"I think for us, we want to be able to play downhill," Campbell said. "We want our linebackers to play downhill. We don't want to flow laterally. We want to be going downhill first. Take the blocks off of them and so, yeah, I think this will help those guys, as well."

In addition to the defensive changes, with Johnson being promoted to offensive coordinator, the Lions had to backfill his previous position as the team's tight end coach. To do that, Tanner Engstrand has been promoted after serving the past two years as an offensive quality-control coach. 

A college quarterback, Engstrand was an offensive coordinator at San Diego State for seven seasons, and held the same title with the XFL's Washington Defenders in 2019 prior to joining the Lions.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers