Gunther Cunningham headed back to the coaching booth in 2013

Posted Sep 6, 2013

After spending the last few seasons on the sideline during the game, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham is heading back up to the coaching booth

Coaching booths beware.

Gunther CunninghamDefensive Coordinator Gunther Cunningham (Photo: AP Images)

Fiery Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham is headed back up to the coaching booth during games this season after spending the last few seasons on the sidelines.

"It's just a decision we made to try something different," Cunningham told reporters Friday. "I was up there early when I came here my first couple years, so I'm back up there again. Personally, I like it up there, especially when it gets cold."

It's an idea the Lions came into this season with and Cunningham has been up in the box trying it out all throughout the preseason.

The idea is to give the team's keenest defensive mind an ability to survey the field with a birds-eye view so he can quickly make adjustments, if needed.

"He has a birds-eye view of everything and I think that's important for our defense from a coordinator's standpoint," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "Any corrections we need made, or anything else, it's a lot easier to see it up there rather than relaying information from the guys up there."

Schwartz admitted that it would be a little different not having Cunningham on the sidelines on Sunday.

"It's a little bit different relaying in signals and stuff like that," he said. "But I think through the preseason we've worked it out pretty good and we're quick with out calls and everything else."

Linebackers coach Matt Burke will go from the box to the sideline and will be the main communicator with Cunningham on the headphones.

"For me, I kind of like it," Cunningham said. "I've been up there a lot in my career. I get to see the game and get to see everyone playing, not just the defense.

"There's a lot of things you see up there very quickly and I can communicate it down to the sidelines (which) is really helpful."