On Saturday, the Detroit Lions revealed an intriguing addition to their coaching staff. The team announced the hiring of former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett to the incredibly ambiguous position of offensive assistant via its official Twitter account. That title makes some sense given that Barrett has only recently started teaching. Being a former offensive player, it stands to reason that he will collaborate with the offensive coaching staff and the team will assign him to whatever position suits him the best. This will be how he enters the coaching profession.
The connection to Detroit likely comes via head coach Dan Campbell. Barrett spent much of the 2018 and 2019 NFL seasons on the New Orleans Saints practice squad, and Campbell was the team’s assistant head coach and tight ends coach at the time.
Campbell’s coaching staff already includes a lot of young (or youngish) former NFL players, including Duce Staley, Mark Brunell, Antwaan Randle-El, Aaron Glenn, Aubrey Pleasant and Kelvin Sheppard. It’s an interesting move for a young team to add those types of voices to the room. Most teams like to lean on experience, but they’re also trying more and more to connect with today’s players, and coaches who were recently players themselves would seem well-suited to do just that.
- Former Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett joins the Lions as an offensive assistant
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