Antwaan Randle El, a former NFL receiver and current Buccaneers assistant coach, is expected to be named the Lions' new receivers coach, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported days after Randle El helped Tampa Bay win Super Bowl LV.
Randle El was hired to join Bruce Arians' staff in January 2019. An offensive assistant, Randle El was reunited with Byron Leftwich, who was named the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator prior to the start of the 2019 season. Randle El and Leftwich were reserves on the Steelers' 2010 AFC championship team.
Leftwich won a ring as Ben Roethlisberger's backup in 2008. Three years earlier, Randle El's touchdown pass to Hines Ward sealed Pittsburgh's 21-10 victory over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. Ironically, the most famous play of Randle El's playing career took place inside Detroit's Ford Field, the Lions' home field since 2002. During his nine-year career, Randle El caught 15 touchdowns, returned five punts and one kickoff for scores, and threw six touchdowns. He added five more total scores in the postseason.
With Randle El's assistance, the Buccaneers' offense finished third in the NFL in scoring over the past two regular seasons. Tampa Bay's passing attack has finished first and second in the NFL in passing over that span. A significant component to the Buccaneers' offensive success has been their receiving corps. In 2019, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans each earned Pro Bowl honors while becoming one of the NFL's top receiving duos. This past season, the Buccaneers welcomed the emergence of fellow receivers Scotty Miller, Antonio Brown and rookie Tyler Johnson. Tampa Bay's depth at receiver helped Tom Brady enjoy another banner season that included his seventh Super Bowl win and fifth MVP trophy.
There is uncertainly as it relates to what the Lions' receiving corps will look like in 2021. Marvin Jones -- the team's leading receiver last season -- is slated to enter free agency on March 17. So is Kenny Golladay, a Pro Bowler in 2019 after leading the NFL in touchdown receptions. Danny Amendola and Mohamed Sanu are also slated to hit the open market next month. One Lions receiver that will be back in 2021 is Quintez Cephus, a 2020 fifth-round pick who caught 20 of 35 targets for 349 yards and two touchdowns in 2020.
With Jared Goff now in Detroit, the Lions are expected to give him a new receiver during the early rounds of the 2021 draft. In his most recent mock draft, CBS Sports NFL draft analyst Ryan Wilson has the Lions taking former LSU receiver Ja'Marr Chase with the No. 7 overall pick. Fellow draft analyst Josh Edwards has Detroit using the pick to select former Alabama wideout Jaylen Waddle.
Randle El is set to join a revamped Lions coaching staff that includes new head coach Dan Campbell, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, running backs coach Duce Staley, quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell and senior defensive assistant Dom Capers.