Detroit Lions: Excuses gone, Don’t blame Bobby Layne

Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions head coach
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions staff as evidence

When Quinn arrived, a head coach was under contract. So, too, were his assistants. Head coach Jim Caldwell had presided over multiple winning campaigns when Quinn decided after the 2017 season to let him go. Sadly, Caldwell’s record (36-28) ranks highest in win percentage (56.3%) of any modern coach who spent at least one full year at the helm, according to Pro Football Reference.

Wayne Fontes has the most wins, with 66, thanks in large part to him riding Barry Sanders through his almost nine-year head coaching career. Likewise, Caldwell’s tenure featured Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford, and Golden Tate all in their primes. Many fans were perplexed by the parting of ways given Caldwell’s general success.

Quinn clarified, winning records not accompanied by playoff success falls short of the mark. He said that he is in Detroit to win titles. Of course, that is not just what fans want to hear but should be the goal of every team in the NFL.

Quinn then brought in his friend and long-time former Patriots cohort, head coach Matt Patricia. It was believed that was his guy even before any formal plan to do a coaching search was announced. Other candidates interviewed but many seemed to avoid the offer to interview also believing that Quinn already knew who he was going to hire.


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Patricia and Quinn seem to be on the same page in almost every facet of their visions for the Detroit Lions and what type of team is going to take the field on game days. In short, Patricia is a reflection of Quinn and his ideal hire. If Patricia is unable to win with his biggest proponent for a boss, it would likely spell the end of both men’s time in Detroit.

This offseason they hired Darrell Bevell to take over the offense. Bevell was last in charge of the Seattle Seahawks offense during their Super Bowl run which featured running back Marshawn Lynch and quarterback Russell Wilson. His philosophy dovetails with Patricia’s vision for offensive balance and versatility to compliment his similar defensive ideology.

The inauspicious start to Patricia’s record as a head coach puts much more pressure on both Patricia and Quinn to find ways to right the ship given their previous success together in New England combined with their Stepbrothers-ish, lockstep camaraderie. Quinn has attached his train to the Patricia engine and both will succeed or fail together. There are only three places that they can end up, Super Bowl Ring City, Mediocrity Junction, or Losertonville.

Yes, we are done with the analogy.

You get our point, though. Any result not including Super Bowl appearances will be deemed failure when both men are in their ideal situation to succeed. Quinn has all of his own players and staff, Patricia has hand-picked every assistant, has Quinn’s full approval, while both decide what players stay or go.