This guy is starting to get his due. I really was not up to speed on him, so decided to look him up:
He was an UDFA out of Robert Morris College in Pgh (side note - he was two years out when my son-in-law first played there, under former Jets coach, Joe Walton)
He was picked up by the Steelers, cut and claimed by the Eagles where he played five years.
He was beaten out and traded to the Browns for a draft pick for the next four years
-He had stints as OL coach at Univ ov San Diego, San Jose State, the Vikings Asst OL coach, and UCLA.
The mot unbelievable part of his resume is that he was hired as Asst. OL coach by Matt Patricia in early 2018…and…When Jeff Davidson retired in late 2019 (with Pasqualoni), the Lions promoted Hank Fraley to OL coach. I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day.
When Patricia was finally fired in late 2020, Fraley was being interviewed by other teams, most notably the Steelers. Yet Fraley was a one of the few coaches that Campbell held onto. Some players went to bat for Fraley, particularly Decker, who had a good season under Fraley and had this to say at the time:
“I’ll just say flat out, one thing that I asked for is just give Hank an opportunity to interview for the job,” Decker said. “Don’t just clean house, because I think he does a really great job. I think he has a really great understanding of the game. He studies the hell out of everything and all the defenses. And I think his approach with delivering the information and coaching techniques is fantastic because he played the game for 11 years. I think he’s just good for the room.”
Right now this looks like a great move by Campbell, Holmes & co. Another player who is now coaching, and an UDFA who knows what its like to grind your way into the league. It sounds as though he is also a good communicator which goes a long way. There, now you and me are both up to speed on Hank Fraley!
I don’t know if Taylor Decker gets enough love around here. He’s a well above average LT, he’s a leader for this franchise, and for the OL room (which is clearly a part of the teams identity). He’s also probably more responsible for Fraley getting this job than anyone wants to admit. The Lions hit with this dude
If things continue on the upward trajectory, don’t be surprised if Ben Johnson is a sought after HC in 2024.
As we continue to progress offensively, I can see Hank & Ben working very closely on game planning and schemes for upcoming opponents.
Does Fraley have the smarts to become an OC in the future? I hope so, he’s one of my favorites! Humble, trustworthy and a great teacher.