ALLEN PARK - Sources close to the Detroit Lions contingent in Mobile, AL., the site of the Senior Bowl workouts at Ladd-Peebles stadium, have told Scout.com's Mike Fowler that the Detroit Lions will name former Jets defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson as their new defensive coordinator.
Henderson, a former draft pick of the Lions in 1980 out of Utah State, was not retained by new Jets head coach Eric Mangini after being a candidate for the position himself. Marinelli was on the coaching staff at the same time Henderson was a star cornerback for the Utes.
After being cut by the Lions and then Eagles, Henderson moved into coaching and joined the Utah State staff when Marinelli moved on to the University of California in 1983.
Henderson did coaching stints at Idaho, Cal and Houston before joining the Baltimore Ravens staff in 1999 under coordinator Marvin Lewis, before landing with the Jets as their defensive coordinator.
He is known for being an energetic, hard-charging, tough-nosed task master with a similar personality and disposition to that of Marinelli.
In his first season as defensive coordinator for New York, the Jets posted a team low 16.3 points per game against and ranked 7th in the NFL in total defense. Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma was named NFL defensive rookie of the year.
Injuries severely hampered the unit last year, leading to a disappointing 4-12 finish and the move of head coach Herman Edwards out of New York to become the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.
There are other reports that state that Hue Jackson, the Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers coach, has become the front runner for the Lions offensive coordinator position. Jackson is credited with the development of the Bengals outstanding receiver corps led by Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Peter Warrick.
In other news, Lions quarterbacks coach Greg Olson has been named offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams under their new head coach Scott Linehan.