Allen Park – The Detroit Lions are wasting little time this offseason making changes to the team’s coaching staff. According to a team source familiar with the negotiations, the Lions have a verbal agreement to bring in defensive line coach Terrell Williams. According to a report from “The Athletic,” Williams will serve as the team’s defensive line coach and running game coordinator.
Williams has spent the last six seasons with the Tennessee Titans, but has clear connections to the Lions. First, he previously worked with Dan Campbell in Miami, where he served as defensive line coach in 2015, the year Campbell was the team’s interim head coach for its final 12 games.
The connections also extend to general manager Brad Holmes. Williams’ second coaching job was at North Carolina A&T, where he coached Holmes during his playing days as a defensive tackle at the school. Williams made the jump to the NFL in 2012 with the Oakland Raiders, before moving on to the Dolphins and then the Titans, where he was hired by former coach Mike Vrabel.
Vrabel promoted Williams to assistant head coach last season and notably gave him the opportunity to serve as head coach during one of the team’s preseason games. This week, Williams serves as head coach of the U.S. team at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
At both the collegiate and professional levels, he has demonstrated an ability to both manage veterans and develop young talent. At Purdue, he worked with future NFL standouts such as Ryan Kerrigan, Cliff Avril and Kawann Short. And during his three years in Miami, he had a front led by Pro Bowlers Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh. More recently, at Tennessee, he earned Pro Bowl performances from Jurrell Casey, Jeffrey Simmons and Harold Landry.
The Titans’ run defense has particularly thrived under Williams’ direction. The team has limited opponents to 4.0 yards per carry or less four of the last five seasons, including 3.8 yards per carry in 2023 and a league-best 3.4 yards per carry in 2022. The Lions are coming off a season in which achieved significant improvements. in that area, allowing 3.7 yards per attempt.
Williams would be the Lions’ third defensive line coach in as many seasons. Todd Wash was in charge of the unit in 2021 and 2022 before leaving, on leave, for the same job with the Carolina Panthers. The team replaced him with Penn State defensive line coach John Scott Jr. in 2023. His future with the team is unknown at this time.