The Lions and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn are set to end their relationship after just one season, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The parties are expected to part ways following Detroit’s 2021 finale on Sunday afternoon.
One year ago, the Chargers fired Lynn as their head coach after he spent four years in that role. Lynn initially planned to sit out the 2021 season, but he had discussions with the Seahawks about their OC post, and he ultimately elected to join Dan Campbell‘s inaugural staff in Detroit.
As it turns out, Lynn may have been better off following through on his original plan to take the year off. In November, he was stripped of his play-calling duties, and although he continued to help run the offensive meetings and structure the game plan and rushing attack, he conceded that he was not happy about the loss of responsibility, via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News.
The Lions were averaging only 16.8 points per game during Lynn’s eight contests as the offensive play-caller, and they failed to record a win during that time. In the following eight contests, they averaged 19.25 points per game and squeezed out two victories and a tie. Correlation does not equal causation, and myriad factors have contributed to another lost season for the Lions, but his time in the Motor City clearly did not help Lynn’s stock as a coach.
The 53-year-old may end up having to accept a position-coach post to start working his way back up the ladder. (He has previously served as the RBs coach of the Jaguars, Cowboys, Browns, Jets and Bills.) The fact that he is a highly respected figure in the league will certainly help him get a job somewhere, and his HC experience could be especially useful to someone who lands a head-coaching gig for the first time in 2022. He might also be interested in a job in the college ranks.
The Lions, meanwhile, will have to search for a new OC. Ben Johnson, the club’s TE coach who was appointed passing-game coordinator when Campbell took over play-calling responsibilities from Lynn, is perhaps the top in-house option. It will also be interesting to see if Campbell wants to remain the play-caller going forward.