NOTEBOOK: Linehan, Lappano let go; 2014 opponents and Lewis on his suspension

Posted Dec 31, 2013

The Lions announced the firing of head coach Jim Schwartz, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and wide receivers coach Tim Lappano on Monday

The Lions announced Monday afternoon the firing of head coach Jim Schwartz and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and receivers coach Tim Lappano.

The rest of the coaching staff, however, is safe for now.

"At this point in time, most of our other assistants are under contract for 2014," team president Tom Lewand said. "There are a couple whose contracts expire at the end of January. We have been in touch with each of our coaches, but as of right now they are all under contract of the Detroit Lions."

The struggles of quarterback Matthew Stafford and the offense down the stretch most likely sealed Linehan's fate.

Stafford finished the season 371-of-634 passing for 4,650 yards with 29 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. He threw 12 of those interceptions in the team's final six losses, though, and completed 58.5 percent of his passes.

Linehan was the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings from 2002-04 and in Miami in 2005. He also was St. Louis' head coach from 2006-08, before joining the Lions staff in 2009.

Lappano worked with the tight ends his first four years on Schwartz's staff. He coached the receivers for the first time this year.

The new head coach, whoever that ends up being, will have final say on whether some other assistants are retained.

The Lions currently have Gunther Cunningham (defensive coordinator), John Bonamego (special teams), Jim Washburn (defensive line) Kris Kocurek (defensive line), Jeremiah Washburn (offensive line), Terry Heffernan (offensive line), Matt Burke (linebackers), Bradford Banta (linebackers), Bobby Johnson (tight ends), Curtis Modkins (running backs), Marcus Robertson (secondary), Todd Downing (quarterbacks) and quality control coaches Evan Rothstein (special teams) and Kyle Valero (wide receivers) on staff.

"That will be the coach's final decision," general manager Martin Mayhew said. "There are some recommendations that we will make to the coach in terms of knowing these guys and who we feel really strongly about, but it will be up to the new head coach."


The Detroit Lions' schedule for 2014 is all set.

The Lions' last two opponents were finalized after Sunday's games concluded and the Lions finished in third place in the NFC North.

Detroit will play crossover games against Arizona (NFC West) and the New York Giants (NFC East), who also finished third in their respective divisions.

The Lions will play at home next year: Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota, Buffalo, Miami, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and the New York Giants.

On the road they'll face: Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota, New England, New York Jets, Carolina, Atlanta (in London) and Arizona.

Dates and times aren't released until the spring, but the Lions do know they'll play in London Oct. 26 and have their bye the following week.


Travis LewisAP Images

Linebacker Travis Lewis was back in Allen Park cleaning out his locker Monday after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs. He told media members he regrets the suspension but is a wiser man because of the experience.

Lewis confirmed he failed a drug test after he mistakenly took Adderall, which is on the league's banned substance list.

"It was bad on my part," Lewis said. "I took it and learned from it.

"I wasn't aware of what I was taking. I thought I was taking caffeine pills. Big mistake. Don't ever trust a friend that gives you something like that."

Lewis said it's a former friend now.

"Definitely a former friend," he said. "A former friend that cost me a lot of money and games that I'll never be able to get back. So that's the bad part of it."

Lewis, who plays primarily on special teams, was suspended Dec. 3 and missed the team's final four games.