Offensive coordinator Mouse Davis, hired by Coach Wayne Fontes to orchestrate the Detroit Lions’ run-and-shoot offense, is leaving the team, a club spokesman said Friday, citing philosophical differences between Davis and Fontes.
Davis said Fontes told him he was planning to switch to a tight end-oriented offense.
“He said, ‘You can stay if you want to,’ but that would be kind of ridiculous,” Davis said. “So I wished him well, and away we go.”
The spokesman, Bill Keenist, denied that Fontes planned to scrap the run-and-shoot. “He’s keeping the offense, he’s just going to add to it,” Keenist said.
Fontes said earlier he plans some offensive changes particularly in light of midseason criticism that running back Barry Sanders wasn’t getting enough opportunities to carry the ball. Nonetheless, Sanders still led the NFL in rushing with 1,304 yards.
The run-and-shoot offense has one running back and four receivers, but Davis said Fontes wants to use a more conventional offense with two running backs.