Danny Crossman would like nothing more than to return to the relative obscurity that most NFL special teams coordinator's live under. Let’s face it, the only time we really talk about a special teams coordinator is when things are going bad.
And right now for the Lions and Crossman, it's bad.
“I love anonymity,” Crossman told the media Thursday. “I tell my kids all the time when they say, ‘Daddy we don’t ever see you on TV. (I say) you don’t ever want to see me on TV, that’s a good thing.’”
Over the last two weeks, Crossman has been on TV too many times.
The Lions set a rather unscrupulous record in their 20-13 loss to the Vikings last Sunday, when they became the first NFL team since 1940 to allow a kickoff return touchdown and punt return touchdown in the same game in consecutive weeks.
So on Thursday morning, Crossman stood in front of the media for a little over 11 minutes answering questions about the lapses on special teams through the last two losses.
Over the course of the interview, not once did he put the blame on anyone other than himself.
“It’s my problem as the coach,” said Crossman, who’s in his eighth NFL season as a special teams coordinator. “My name is on it. I will get it corrected.
"I’m a teacher. If you’re a teacher and half the kids are flunking your exams, you have to find a way to teach the kids better. They are your kids. Teach them better. Find a way to get it done and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Its no surprise the Lions currently rank last in the NFL in opponents punt return average (27.3) and near the bottom (30th) in opponents kick return average (32.8).
Crossman said there wasn’t one common thread among the four return touchdowns the Lions have given up over the last two weeks, which seems to be the tough part for him moving forward.
If it were one common theme, it’d be easy to fix.
The Percy Harvin 105-yard kickoff return touchdown last week was a result of players not being able to get off their blocks. The Marcus Sherels 77-yard punt return was a result of five missed tackles.
“The common thread is I have to do a better job,” Crossman said. “Whatever it may be, whatever the breakdowns are, it is my responsibility to get all of that stuff fixed. So that's what we're working on, that's what we'll get done. Whether it’s personnel, whether it’s what we’re doing, or how we’re doing it. But it’s all how I’m getting it taught.”
It doesn’t get much easier for Crossman and the Lions in the next two weeks, either, as they hit the road to face the Eagles and Bears, two teams who feature two of the best return men in the game in DeSean Jackson and Devin Hester, respectively.
“I chose this. I love it. It’s what I do,” Crossman said. “It isn’t any fun unless you win, and even then it sometimes isn’t any fun. But you have to find ways to win games. That’s the only thing you’re judged on.
“The head coach of this team, Jim Schwartz, he’s the only one that has his name on it. Danny Crossman is not 1-3. I’m part of that. Jim Schwartz has to live with that 1-3, so we have to find ways to win games.”