The Detroit Lions and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn have parted ways.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell confirmed the news in his season-ending press conference Monday in Allen Park.
"Felt like this is just best for both of us," Campbell said of the move. "Look, he came here and took a leap of faith with us under the impression that he would be calling plays. It was not going to go in that direction again and that's not fair to him, either. I wish him the best and he's been a true pro. He works his tail off and he gave us everything he had and I appreciate him for that."
Lynn joined Campbell's staff last offseason after being let go as the Los Angeles Chargers head coach the previous four seasons. A former NFL running back, Lynn brought a mentality and a game plan to run the football and be physical on offense, attributes the Lions' offense did take on. But things never really clicked with the passing game and quarterback Jared Goff.
After starting 0-8 heading into their Week 9 bye week, Campbell opted to make some changes. He took over playing calling and elevated Ben Johnson to a bigger role as the passing game coordinator. Lynn still ran the offensive meeting and the run game, but he was never content with a reduced role.
"Three weeks going into this thing, knowing what Dan (Campbell) wants, tying to assist him the best I can. Very comfortable with the role. Don't mistake comfortable for liking the role," Lynn told the media last month. "But yeah, very comfortable with the role. I want to help assist Dan the best I can."
The offense was much more explosive, particularly in the passing game, coming out of the bye week with Campbell calling plays. The Lions scored a third more touchdowns the second half of the season than they did the first half (21 vs. 14). Goff had a 85.3 passer rating through his first eight games, but elevated that to 101.8 post bye, working more closely with Campbell and Johnson.
View photos from Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers Week 18 game at Ford Field on Sunday, Jan. 9 in Detroit, MI.
"The way he handled himself the whole season is remarkable," Goff said of Lynn. "A true professional and we really do appreciate it, because he could have, if he wanted to, have a bad attitude and he didn't. He handled himself really well and it was really cool to see from him."
When it comes to filling the now open vacancy at offensive coordinator, Campbell said he first has to decide what he wants to do in terms of continuing to call plays or leaving open the possibility of the new coordinator doing it. That will definitely impact the candidate list.
Campbell eluded that Johnson could get a serious look to fill the position moving forward.
"I'll tell you this, Ben Johnson did a hell of a job for us," Campbell said. "I will say that and kind of leave it at that if you will."