Lions Might Add Rams’ Brandon Staley to Coaching Search


Sean McVay on the Rams sideline in the playoffs.

The Detroit Lions have a choice to make at head coach in the coming days after finding their next general manager in Brad Holmes, and a names Holmes is familiar with could soon come into the picture.

Thus far in the process, the Lions have not interviewed Brandon Staley, defensive coordinator from the Los Angeles Rams. Staley has seen some play in other places, but could soon potentially join the list in Detroit of interviews considering the influence of Holmes.

Brandon Staley, who has met w/Jets and Chargers (and possibly Lions to come) would bring a very strong staff of rising coaches, I’m told, including Texans DC Anthony Weaver, Colts DB coach Jonathan Gannon (great work with that secondary) and Bears DL coach Jay Rodgers (former QB)

— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 14, 2021

Detroit’s interview process has been fairly specific in scope thus far early on, and the team has only met with a handful of candidates for the coaching role. Detroit will have a second interview with Arthur Smith on Friday, which could indicate he’s a top candidate and a finalist for the job. Many have speculated the Lions might also target experience with their coach hire, which could lead to a name like Dan Campbell or Marvin Lewis being in play.

Staley has seen early interview love from the New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers and Houston Texans, so his addition to the Detroit search could be a big shakeup for the coaching carousel if it happens and he has a natural fit with Holmes from his time with the Rams.

The potential for Staley’s name to come up in Detroit was also mentioned by Dave Birkett, who hinted his name may have come up during Holmes’ interview on Wednesday. Naturally, it will be worth staying tuned to see how this part of the process plays out.

Brandon Staley Resume

The 38 year-old coach has wasted little time making a huge rise in the coaching world after tolling away at the college level in stops at Northern Illinois, St. Thomas College, Hutchinson Community College, Tennessee, James Madison, John Carroll before making his jump to the NFL with the Chicago Bears as outside linebacker coach in 2017 and 2018. He coached outside linebackers in Denver in 2019 following Vic Fangio, and then took over the Rams defense in 2020. Staley attended Dayton University and Mercyhurst University.

This season, Los Angeles has had a very strong presence on the defensive side of the ball and were on the fringe of a top 10 unit the whole season, only allowing 250 passing yards and just over 126 rushing yards per-game.

Lions Coaching Search Update

Detroit has seen their search start out early on in interesting fashion, and names like Eric Bieniemy, Arthur Smith, Robert Saleh, Marvin Lewis and Dan Campbell are a solid start for the team in terms of getting folks in the mix. Out of the bunch, Lewis and Campbell are the only one with previous head coaching experience from their time in Cincinnati and Miami respectively. Todd Bowles would add some more experience to the mix for the Lions to consider at this point in time, and the Lions will speak to him late this week reportedly. Detroit could also be interested in getting an interview with a college coach such as Pat Fitzgerald, though that seems like a long-shot at this point in time.

Saleh has been seen as a potential leader in the clubhouse for the Lions, but there are conflicting reports on how well he interviewed with the team and whether or not he is the favorite for jobs elsewhere. Some say the process went well, while others maintained that was not the case. Regardless, the team is clearly going to keep an open mind for their next boss as this comprehensive search shows.

If the team adds Staley to the mix in the coming days, it will be them doing more diligence on the coaching front.

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