By Jay Skurski
Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone still has plenty of work to do to fill out his staff, including hiring a special teams coach.
One name to watch in that search is Danny Crossman, who served in that role for the Detroit Lions the past three seasons. Multiple reports out of Michigan this morning, including this one from Anwar Richardson of mlive.com, have indicated Crossman will not return to the Lions.
Crossman, 45, and Marrone were teammates way back in 1991 with the London Monarchs in the World League of American Football.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News tweeted this morning that Crossman is expected to join the Bills under Marrone. McCosky also is reporting that Crossman asked out of the final year of his contract in Detroit to join the Bills.
Under Crossman, the Lions finished 15th in special teams in 2010 (according to the rankings done by Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News, which are accepted league wide), but fell all the way down to 31st in the 2011 season.
Gosselin ransks all 32 teams in 22 kicking-game categories and assigns points according to their standing (one for the best through 32 for the worst). The 2012 rankings are not yet complete.
Here are the Lions' rankings in a few key statistical special teams categories:
- Kickoff returns: 31st (20.0 yards). Kickoff coverage: 14th (23.3 yards allowed).
- Punt returns: 22nd (8.6 yards). Punt coverage: 18th (9.9 yards allowed).
- Net punting average: 32nd (37.1 yards per punt).