Ron Prince working the sidelines at Kansas State (Photo credit: AP)
The Detroit Lions have hired another coach to their staff that has previous experience working with Jim Caldwell in Ron Prince. Prince is the first offensive coach to be hired and will serve as the assistant head coach/tight ends coach for the Lions. Bobby Johnson, former tight ends coach who was retained by Caldwell, will become the assistant offensive line coach under Jeremiah Washburn.
Prince spent the 2013 season as the University of Rutgers’ offensive coordinator, after serving three seasons as an assistant in the NFL. He first coached under Caldwell as an offensive line assistant for the Indianapolis Colts from 2010-11, then took the same job for the Jacksonville Jaguars during the 2012 season.
At the start of his career, Prince was an offensive line coach from 1993-2002 for five different institutions at the collegiate level. In 2003, he was promoted from the offensive line to offensive coordinator for the University of Virginia. Prince left Virginia to become the head coach at Kansas State in 2006; a job in which he was eventually fired from during the 2008 season. Then, before his jump to the NFL in 2010, Prince spent one final season at Virginia as the team’s special teams coordinator.
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Detroit has put many pieces in place to finalize their coaching staff, but one glaring hole that still remains to be filled is offensive coordinator. In a radio interview, Caldwell alluded to the fact that his offensive coordinator will be one who is innovative and has, “a real firm grip on what the core principles are just in terms of offensive football and how you win games.”
Coach Caldwell and the Lions’ front office are not taking any shortcuts in their process to finding the right man for the offensive coordinator position of this football team. President Tom Lewan said that they had a profile in which they wanted to fit in the hiring of their head coach, and it looks to be the same process in search of an offensive coordinator.
There are plenty of coaches who are rumored to be candidates for the position, but the most commonly named are; Kansas City Chiefs assistant head coach David Culley and Colts assistant Clyde Christensen.
Culley has been a member of Any Reid’s staff since the two were hired by the Philadelphia Eagles. Once Reid was appointed as the Chiefs head coach in 2013, Culley followed him to become the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach. Culley spent his first 12 years with the Eagles strictly as the receivers coach, then was handed the responsibility of senior offensive assistant in 2011.
Christensen could be the leading candidate due to his previous experience with Caldwell as an offensive coordinator. From 2010-11, Christensen coordinated the Colts’ offense but was stripped from his duties after the firing of Caldwell and has since served as the team’s quarterbacks coach.
Whoever ends up at the controls of the offense should have one priority: make this team capable of turning fourth-quarter leads into victories.
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