January 23, 2009

NFL teams fill coaching vacancies

Former St. Louis Rams coach Scott Linehan was one of several people who filled vacant NFL jobs Friday, becoming the Detroit Lions' new offensive coordinator.

He was the head coach of the Rams for three seasons (2006-08), and inherits the task of helping to improve an offense that in 2008 contributed to Detroit becoming the first NFL team to record an 0-16 record.

Linehan was Minnesota's offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 2002-04 -- some of the most productive seasons for quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who is now with Detroit. In the 2004-05 season with the Vikings, Culpepper passed for 4,717 yards and 39 touchdowns and finished with a 110.9 passer rating.

Both Linehan and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham join the staff of new Detroit Coach Jim Schwartz.

Elsewhere, Tampa Bay named Jim Bates its defensive coordinator; while Miami named five assistants, including Bryan Cox (defensive line coach) and Jerome Henderson (defensive backs coach).