Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni and offensive line coach Jeff Davidson are stepping away from the game of football for the time being.
Pasqualoni and head coach Matt Patricia had a history together dating back to their days at Syracuse. Although, this might be a period of their career in which they both want to forget.
It appeared that both worked very closely and shared some defensive play-calling duties for the Lions. Unfortunately, the Lions defense was just 64 yards short of allowing the most yards in franchise history. Not what you want out of a “defensive guru” and his mentor.
Statement from head coach Matt Patricia:
On Jeff Davidson:
“Coach Davidson recently informed me that he will take an indefinite leave from coaching. Jeff was an invaluable resource to me during the past two seasons and his leadership will be greatly missed. He has left the door open to a coaching return in future years and I fully support his personal decision to spend time away from the game. I thank him for his dedication to our team and wish him and his family all the best.”
On Paul Pasqualoni:
“Coach Pasqualoni notified me this week that he will be stepping away from the Lions to be closer to his family. Coach P is one of the best men I’ve ever been around, on both personal and professional levels. I owe him so much and I’m grateful of the impact he had on our players, coaches and support staff. He will continue to be a great sounding board for me as a coach, father and leader. I wish him and his family well as they begin the new year together.”
Now, it’s on Quinn and Patricia to find an upgrade at their positions. There is no wiggle room for error with these hires.
Much like they did finding offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, it may be wise to go outside of their comfort zone and hire another respected defensive mind with a new perspective. Otherwise, it may just be Patricia continuing to run the show with no real change.
(The article will be updated to provide more information as it becomes available.)