On January 8th, the Detroit Lions hired former New England Patriots Director of pro scouting, Bob Quinn. Two minutes later, the “Patriot Way” narrative was born in Detroit.
In a city where the number of times a tight end drops passes in practice is recorded, it comes as no surprise that this narrative as taken on a life of its own so much so that anytime Bob Quinn sneezes, most think it’s some sort of tactic he took from the Patriots. Today I urge everyone to take this narrative out back and put it out of its misery. Otherwise that’s all you’ll end up feeling, misery.
Picture the “Patriot Way” as a bubble flying through the air all care free and happy. I’m taking a needle and popping that bubble today. The misconception that the Lions are working off of some type of championship blueprint is going to break many hearts. It’s not that the Lions don’t have talent to pull off great things, it’s that they don’t have the minds to pull off this “Patriot Way” thing. Let me use an analogy. Vince McMahon is considered to be a brilliant mind in the world of pro wrestling. He changed the game forever and set every benchmark you could imagine. His head writer during the glorious hey day of the attitude era was Vince Russo. WWE’s direct competition WCW thought that if they got Russo, they would be able to run their company like WWE and win out in the ratings. Of course we all know how that ended up. WCW is no longer in business and the WWE is still wildly successful.
Same story here with the Lions, but with hopefully a drastically different ending. The Lions are getting their Vince Russo in Bob Quinn, but they aren’t getting Vince McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Which of course is Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. If you’re expecting Quinn to come in and base everything he does off what was done in New England, you’re going to be awfully disappointed when things don’t go that way.
I get it though. Right now everyone is in a state of the unknown. What are the Lions going to do in the draft? What are they going to do in free agency? Is there going to be some sort of scheme change? It’s really easy to think the Lions will just trade down and buy cheap. Because that’s what the Patriots do and that’s where Bob Quinn comes from. But in reality when you do this, what you’re really doing is setting Bob Quinn up to fail in your mind. The first time Bob sways away from what you perceived he was going to do, you will likely think it’s stupid and that he’s ruining everything. If you stay in the unknown zone for Four more weeks, you’ll get to see what the “Bob Quinn way” is. You might like it.
Comparing Quinn to Russo was just for effect. Bob Quinn is a smart guy. He hasn’t promised anything other tan improvements to scouting process and a full evaluation of the team. So far he’s making all the right moves as far as cuts and hiring goes. Of course I’m not saying that he will do nothing that resembles New England. I would imagine he hits free agency and picks up a couple guys that he may have had ties to in New England. Like Kyle Love from Carolina for example. But I can’t imagine he’s doing that because of chart he has in his house that says Patriot Way on it. Only time will tell what the Lions of the next few years will look like. But one thing is for sure, they will never look like the Patriots.