Detroit Lions hire Steve Heiden as their new tight ends coach

The Detroit Lions have added a new coach, with Steve Heiden reportedly being hired as their new tight ends coach.

The Detroit Lions have added a new coach to Dan Campbell’s staff. According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Arizona Cardinals tight ends coach Steve Heiden is coming aboard in the same role.

Heiden was the Cardinals tight ends coach for the last four seasons. He spent a total of 10 seasons on the coaching staff in Arizona, spanning three head coaches (Bruce Arians, Steve Wilks, Kliff Kingsbury), starting as assistant special teams coach and assistant offensive line coach (2013-2017). He became the Cardinals assistant offensive line coach in 2018, then he became tight ends coach in 2019.

A third-round pick out of South Dakota State in 1999 (No. 69 overall) by the San Diego Chargers, Heiden spent three seasons (1999-2001) with the Chargers and eight (2002-2009) with the Cleveland Browns. In those 11 seasons, over 148 games, he totaled 201 receptions for 1,689 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Heiden was taken 10 picks before Campbell in the 1999 draft.

Detroit Lions making a change to their coaching staff

Tanner Engstrand replaced Ben Johnson as the Lions tight ends coach/passing game coordinator this year, after Johnson was of course promoted to offensive coordinator. Heiden is reportedly being hired to replace him as tight ends coach, so Engstrand’s future on Campbell’s staff is unclear and to be addressed–probably very soon as new coaching staffs around the league get filled out, and other staffs have changes.

It could be a promotion for Engstrand. What job he would be promoted to is not clear though, with no current openings on the Lions’ staff. So it feels far more likely he’s leaving, for what would effectively be a promotion elsewhere, rather than solely (and unlikely) retaining a role as passing game coordinator in Detroit.

Heiden is another former NFL player on Campbell’s staff, joining Aaron Glenn, Duce Staley, Antwaan Randle El, Mark Brunell and Kelvin Sheppard.

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