Mariucci Looking To Assemble "Super" Staff?

(ALLEN PARK) - Detroit's Steve Mariucci is shaking things up trying to assemble the best coaching staff that he can prior to re-convening the team for the April mini-camp's following the 2004 NFL draft.  Mariucci has already dismissed three from his staff and the word is that two or three more could be released. 

Several unconfirmed reports have the Detroit head man assembling a blockbuster coaching staff that rivals the 1984 Green Bay Packers staff assembled by Mike Holmgren en route to a Super Bowl.

The newest name to pop up on the radar screen is San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.  According to sources, Mariucci would like to bring Knapp to Detroit to replace current offensive coordinator Sherm Lewis.  Lewis would then be moved to wide receivers coach replacing the recently dismissed Bobby Williams.  Meanwhile, offensive line coach Pat Morris appears to be signed sealed and delivered to Detroit, replacing Carl Mauck who was let go by Mariucci last week.

Hall-of-fame tight end Charlie Sanders will join the staff as tight ends or receivers coach depending on the outcome of the Knapp talks.  Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, former Bears coach Dick Jauron is still rumored to be a candidate to replace Kurt Schottenheimer as defensive coordinator.  Jauron, though, is on a short list to replace fired Gregg Williams as head coach in Buffalo.  If Jauron doesn't get a head coaching job, he and former Lions safety Dick LeBeau are expected to come aboard in Motown, with LeBeau replacing defensive backs coach Ray Horton.

Sources say the Lions would like to move sooner rather than later to implement these moves -- if they are going to happen -- because Jim Mora, Jr. is likely to get the head coaching job in Chicago or Atlanta.  If that happens, they would have to get into a bidding war for Knapp's services with Mora, Jr. 

In 1992, Holmgren assembled a staff that consisted of Marty Mornhinweg, Steve Mariucci, Jon Gruden and Mike Sherman on offense, with Dick Jauron, Andy Reid and Ray Rhodes.   If Mariucci successfully brings together Knapp, Jauron, LeBeau and Sanders to mesh with Lewis and Rathman, the quality of his staff would be one of the best ever assembled in Detroit.

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