Sam Gash enters his sixth season with the Lions, his fifth as running backs coach. He came to Detroit prior to the 2007 season as assistant special teams coach. .
LIONS COACHING HIGHLIGHTS: Gash leads a running backs unit that looks to generate explosive plays inside and out with the combination of third-year RB Jahvid Best and 2011 second-round pick RB Mikel Leshoure.
Before joining the Lions, Gash spent two seasons (2005-06) as the New York Jets' assistant running backs and assistant special teams coach. He entered the NFL coaching ranks following a 12-year playing career with the New England Patriots (1992-97), Buffalo Bills (1998-99, 2003) and Baltimore Ravens (2000-02).
As a player, Gash earned a reputation as one of the most physical fullbacks in the league and was named to two Pro Bowls (1999-2000). In 1999, he became the first back ever selected to the Pro Bowl without recording a rushing attempt.
Gash was an eighth-round draft choice (205th overall) of the New England Patriots in the 1992 NFL Draft out of Penn State. He recorded 177 regular season games and also appeared in 11 postseason games. Gash carried the ball 121 times, scored two rushing touchdowns and added 169 receptions for 1,347 yards for an 8.0 average and 13 touchdowns. He was also active on various protection and coverage units throughout his career.
At Penn State, Gash was the top fullback as a junior and senior. He served as offensive captain as a senior and had a career-high 391 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 87 carries. As a junior, Gash started every game and posted 315 yards and five scores on 95 carries. He earned his undergraduate degree in liberal arts with an emphasis in speech communication, marketing and management. He and his wife, Alicia, have a daughter, Samantha, and sons Kolby, Elijah, Isaiah, Caleb, Samson and Gideon.
Tori Petry reports on what Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford had to say today about their high expectations for the talent on this year's Lions team.