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Lions continue coaching staff shakeup

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 30: Head coach Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions looks on during the second half while playing the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on December 30, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. Chicago won the game 26-24. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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More changes are coming on the Lions’ coaching staff.

The Lions fired wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson, running backs coach Sam Gash and offensive line coach George Yarno immediately after the season, and now changes appear to be coming on special teams as well. According to the Detroit News, special teams coordinator Danny Crossman has asked to be let out of the final year of his contract so he can take the same position in Buffalo, where his old friend Doug Marrone is the new head coach.

Other than the generally reliable kicker Jason Hanson, the Lions’ special teams were terrible last season, so it seems highly likely that the Lions would be more than happy to let the Bills take on the last year of Crossman’s contract. That’s especially true considering that there’s now a strong candidate available to take over the Lions’ special teams in Alan Lowry, who was recently fired by the Titans. Lowry and Lions head coach Jim Schwartz worked together in Tennessee for 10 years.

Former Jacksonville tight ends coach Bobby Johnson is expected to take the same job on the Lions’ staff, while Tim Lappano, who has coached the tight ends in Detroit the last four seasons, is expected to move to a different spot on the coaching staff.

Jeremiah Washburn, who has spent the last four seasons as assistant offensive line coach, has been named as a likely candidate to take over for the fired Yarno as offensive line coach.

UPDATE 2:15 p.m. ET: The Lions have announced that they hired Curtis Modkins as running backs coach/run game coordinator and Bobby Johnson as tight ends coach, that Tim Lappano will serve as wide receivers coach, Jeremiah Washburn will serve as offensive line coach and special teams coordinator Danny Crossman will not return.