Lions looking for new special teams coach

A few months ago, there was reason to wonder whether Danny Crossman would finish the 2012 season as the Detroit Lions' special teams coordinator. The Lions had just become the first team in NFL history to allow a punt and kickoff to be returned for touchdowns in consecutive games, and fans were calling for Crossman's job.

Coach Jim Schwartz stayed with Crossman, who steadied the ship for the remainder of the season. Monday, however, Crossman left the Lions to join the Buffalo Bills in a similar capacity. Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com first reported the move. I've confirmed it, but from what I understand, Crossman left by choice because he and new Bills coach Doug Marrone are longtime friends.

Schwartz let three assistants go earlier this month, but he was planning to enter the 2013 season with Crossman still on staff. No replacement has been hired, but multiple news outlets are suggesting former Tennessee Titans assistant Alan Lowry as a likely target.

Meanwhile, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions have hired former Jacksonville Jaguars assistant Bobby Johnson to coach their tight ends and have moved Tim Lappano from tight ends coach to running backs coach. That leaves three vacancies on the Lions' staff: Receivers coach, offensive line coach and special teams coordinator.