Antwaan Randle El, the former NFL wide receiver who most recently worked as an offensive assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has joined Detroit Lions as their wide receivers coach.
The claim was first made by Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network last week, and the team confirmed it via an official announcement on Wednesday.
Lions WR coach is a Super Bowl champion, both as a player and assistant coach
A former Indiana graduate, Randle joined Pittsburgh Steelers as a 2nd round draft pick in 2002 and became the Super Bowl XL champion with them in 2005. In the same year, he switched sides with Washington (then Redskins) and stayed there until 2009, before returning to Steelers in 2010 and announced his retirement in 2012 after not making a single appearance in the 2011 season.
Following his retirement, Randle became the athletic director of a Christian school in Ashburn, Virginia which he also co-founded.
In January 2019, Randle joined the Buccaneers management as an offensive coach which marked a reunion with head coach Bruce Arians, who was formerly a wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator at Steelers.
Bucs went onto win the Super Bowl LV this year with a dominating 31-9 thrashing of former champions Kansas City Chiefs, making Randle champion both as a player and an assistant coach.
With the addition of Randle, Lions defensive staff gets one more former player in its ranks, alongside quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, offensive line coach Hank Fraley, defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, defensive assistant Kelvin Sheppard, assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley and last but not the least the Lions head coach Dan Campbell.
Such an athletic coaching contingent was not an intentional step by Campbell, however.
“I did not go into this thing and say I’m going to hire nothing but ex-players,” Campbell told ESPN, “that really never entered my mind.”
“In my head, I said, who is the best dude that I know as far as person that I know as an outstanding teacher and coach. That was the criteria,” added the head coach.