Higgins to coach WRs, Clemons to stay on

Mariucci decides to go shift assistant coaches to different roles rather than bringing in new faces. Move solidifies offensive coaching staff but questions remain regarding Schottenheimer and defensive line coaching prospects

(ALLEN PARK) - Lions head coach Steve Mariucci got at least his offensive staff completed today by shifting responsibilities among his current coaches. Mariucci elected to move current QB coach Kevin Higgins to wide receivers coach rather than bring in Charlie Sanders, a move that was rumored but did not materialize.

Also, Sean Kugler was retained as tight ends coach which completed the offensive coaching staff.

On defense, the Lions retained longtime coach Don Clemons who's tenure in Detroit goes back as far as Darryl Rogers staff in 1985 and is the longest tenured coach in the history of the franchise. Clemons will rejoin the team in his role of defensive assistant.

"As I've said from the beginning, the 2003 season was one in which I expected to learn not only a lot about our players, but about our coaching staff as well," said Mariucci. "It became clear that we had quality coaches on our staff and consequently we are thrilled that Kevin, Sean and Don will be returning next season."

Still, questions remain on the defensive side of the ball including what will happen to former defensive coordinator Kurt Schottenheimer. Detroit has allowed Schottenheimer, who still has one year remaining on his contract, to interview with other teams including the San Diego Chargers where his brother, Marty, is the head coach.

Schottenheimer could be asked to take over as the defensive backs coach replacing Ray Horton who recently resigned. If not, Detroit would have to find another defensive backs coach in very short order with few quality candidates available.

Both defensive line coaching candidates Mike Waufle (Giants) and Greg Blache (Redskins) signed with other teams, but Detroit may look to Jauron's defensive line coach Larry Brooks or former Arizona defensive line coach and former Pittsburgh Steeler great Joe Greene. Both have been mentioned inconnection with the Lions opening.


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