Detroit Lions general manager, Bob Quinn, is shaping the team. What impact has he had and how does his coach get Detroit closer to a Super Bowl?
Bob Quinn isn’t perfect. The Detroit Lions general manager has little more than two years on the job in the Motor City, having started in 2016. This upcoming draft will be his third, and most important, following his first head coach hire.
Matt Patricia will be the new head coach as soon as the Super Bowl is over. Let’s look at how Quinn has affected the franchise thus far, and what he needs to do to bring Detroit back to prominence. Here we go!
Quinn kept Jim Caldwell, the former head coach, for as long as possible. Intentional, or not, I think his move to keep Caldwell sent a positive message to future coaches. “I will give you a chance to right the ship”, Quinn implied.
Why is that significant?
If you look at successful franchises, and franchises that always seem to be rebuilding, there is correlation between turnover and success. Good teams seem to find the right guys and stick with them; struggling teams seem to have more visceral, knee-jerk reactions.
In particular, teams that have the most Super Bowl victories, the Patriots, Steelers, Cowboys, and 49’ers, have had great continuity during their Super Bowl eras. In general, these teams change head coaches few times.
The Steelers have only had three coaches since 1969!
I did not believe that Caldwell was going to have great playoff success given the chance to return. It seemed rather obvious that he cannot build a winner.
Caldwell did maintain a championship team in Indianapolis, but that was Tony Dungy’s team.
Quinn was widely criticized for allowing Caldwell to stay after taking over what many saw as a playoff team, and not producing any results. Our general manager pointed to a positive work relationship as a main reason that Caldwell was kept. Owner, Martha Firestone Ford also voiced her approval of Caldwell at the time.
Caldwell got the Lions to two playoff appearances, no NFC North Division titles, and a 36-28 record. His best showing as a Lions coach was his first year. Detroit went 11-5 with a controversial loss to the Dallas Cowboys, 20-24, to end the season. The Lions were leading 17-7 at halftime.
An anemic run game, slow starts, and poor second halves plagued his tenure in the Motor City.
Quinn gave him plenty of chances to fix those issues, giving him new talent and time.