With Dan Campbell in his first go-round as a full-time head coach, the Detroit Lions wanted some assistants who could offer insight and acumen to their new on-field leader.
And in offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, the Lions believe they found that. The 52-year-old has been around the league, with time in Denver, Jacksonville, Dallas, Cleveland, New York (Jets), Buffalo, and for the past four seasons, in Los Angeles as the head coach of the Chargers.
He has handled running backs, worked with special teams, been an assistant head coach, and for one season with the Bills, he coordinated an offense. And in Detroit, that’s what he'll be expected to do -- provide an experienced voice for Campbell and also create a diverse offense around a new quarterback.
Campbell also will have other NFL-level experience to lean on. Mark Brunell, a three-time Pro Bowler, is Detroit's quarterbacks coach. While it'll be his first NFL job -- his other coaching experience is as a high school head coach and a mentor for quarterbacks transitioning from college to the NFL -- he has 19 years of playing experience to tap as the Lions prepare for life without Matthew Stafford. And he'll have 10-year NFL playing vet and 10-year NFL coaching vet Duce Staley as the assistant head coach/running backs coach, the same role he had in Philadelphia.
So while Lynn doesn’t have vast experience as a playcaller, he will have a lot of experienced NFL voices to lean on. And Lynn's teams, when the offenses have been at least partially under his control, have shown proficiency in their ability to run and pass.