The Detroit Lions have managed to keep their coaching staff and front office more or less in tact during the reign of Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz. Sure, they made some changes to the staff this season after their 4-12 campaign, but those were their own choices. That's different than having somebody leave the franchise of their own volition. That is the case with defensive backs coach Tim Walton. He will be taking over as the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams.
This move struck some people as surprising, as the Lions aren't known for their stout secondary. However, before Louis Delmas' injury last season Detroit's pass defense was actually quite good, and this year the secondary was plagued with injury. Plus, how much impact can a defensive back coach truly have? Lastly, perhaps he has skills that are relevant to being a defensive coordinator that are less relevant when it comes to being a position coach. I'm not saying he's guaranteed to be a good defensive coordinator, and I too was somewhat surprised to see this news, but that's a problem for the Rams to deal with.
What this means for the Lions is more pertinent to Detroit fans. The timing of this hurts the Lions a bit. St. Louis was the last team looking for a coordinator, which meant they had less choices available to them. Now, the Lions have lost Walton late and have to scramble to replace him. Fortunately, replacing a defensive backs coach is a bit easier than replacing a defensive coordinator. Hopefully Detroit can solve this quickly, as this year's secondary could be looking quite different, and could be quite young. Having somebody good to coach them up would be nice.