Bob Quinn Brings a Unique Approach to Detroit Lions

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /
Bob Quinn
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

When it was first reported that the Detroit Lions were going to hire Bob Quinn, some Lions fans perked up their ears and cried “Who?”, some were just happy they hired someone from a winning organization, and some began looking critically at what this means for the team going forward.  The New England Patriots have a very different front office structure than the Detroit Lions do at nearly every position.  Bob Quinn himself served in various roles since being hired straight out of college by the Pats, and he’s bringing an understanding of what worked there to the Motor City.  What does it mean for the team, though?

The Detroit Lions have a lot of work to do.  A few days ago it seemed almost certain that Jim Caldwell would be retained as head coach of the Detroit Lions, but now we’re not so sure.  This could be good news, since only one of the team’s best options (and none of their worst ones) has been locked up to a long-term deal with Adam Gase moving on to Miami. This also opens up the option to retain Teryl Austin in a different capacity in Detroit.  What decision Bob Quinn makes at head coach will be the first huge step in a number of important areas, not the least of which is putting wins in the win column.

If that wasn’t enough to worry about, Calvin Johnson has made it known that he is pondering retirement.  Whether he will or not is known only to him, and it’s fairly probable he doesn’t even know himself at this juncture. The moves Bob Quinn makes, which includes far more than just his coaching hire, can go a long way in convincing the future hall of famer to return for another season. If he is unable to do so, the moves he makes to help the team move past losing their best player of the last decade (When no previous exit plan was in place) will leave a lasting mark on the Detroit Lions.

One of the first criticisms I heard about hiring Bob Quinn was that few players tend to do well after leaving the Patriots. It’s an interesting point, one that was being used to criticize the hire, but in reality that’s a good example of a pro personnel department doing their job.  Knowing who to let go of, and your options to replace them, is an important part of managing a team and Quinn comes from one of the best teams in the business for working that angle. It’s important for Detroit, since they have plenty of guys who may see the door soon.

Ultimately, we’ve got a long way to go before we can consider the Detroit Lions hiring Bob Quinn to be their general manager as a good thing or a bad thing. We can look at some of the moves that the New England Patriots have made during his tenure there and see his fingerprints upon them.  At its core, this is the Detroit Lions making a bold point that they’re choosing a new direction for their football team.  For that, we should all at least be excited.

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