It looks like coach Jeff Fisher’s search for a new defensive coordinator has reached the finish line. It was nearly seven weeks in the making, but all signs point to Detroit Lions assistant coach Tim Walton getting the job, according to multiple league sources. Walton was offered the job Tuesday, accepted it, and the deal could be finalized by the end of the week. Walton was among three candidates interviewed by Fisher over the past week and a half. The others were Dick Jauron, the former defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns, and Mike Singletary, who has the title of special assistant to the head coach/linebackers with the Minnesota Vikings. Walton, 41, is considered an up-and-comer in the NFL coaching ranks. He has a good reputation in Detroit, even with the Lions’ overall struggles last season, and in particular is known for developing defensive backs. During his 14 seasons in college coaching at Miami, Louisiana State, and Memphis, he coached nine players that were drafted in the first or second round. All but one of those nine (Devin Hester) are – or were – cornerbacks or safeties in the NFL, a group that includes safeties Idrees Bashir, LaRon Landry, Brandon Meriweather, Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle, and cornerbacks Kelly Jennings and Corey Webster. Walton has two years of defensive coordinator experience, albeit at the college level, with the Hurricanes in 2008 and Memphis in 2007. At Detroit, the Lions finished tied for third in the NFL in takeaways in 2011, with 34. That total fell way off in 2012 to 17, but the Lions did improve to 14th in passing defense – or one spot ahead of the Rams. Fisher tried to hire Walton last season as assistant defensive coordinator/passing game, but he ended up staying with the Lions with a new title of defensive backs/third-down package coach. Walton worked with Brandon Fisher, Jeff Fisher’s son and the Rams’ assistant secondary coach, in Detroit in 2011. There is also familiarity with the Rams’ defensive scheme because Lions head coach Jim Schwartz worked with Fisher for 10 seasons in Tennessee including eight as Titans defensive coordinator. So it’s a lot of the same stuff.
Tim Walton accepts offer to be Rams' D-coordinator
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Feb 13