Detroit Lions: If Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia fail, don’t blame the Ford family

Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Quinn and Patricia have been given a free hand

The history of the Ford family’s influence on team decisions can especially be found in the draft. All too often the Lions would go for splash offensive picks to create a dynamic offense that would sell tickets. If we examine Bob Quinn’s tenure as the Lions general manager, he has used two of the four first-round picks he has made on offensive linemen, one on a middle linebacker and then a tight end last year.

T.J. Hockenson would be the closest to a flashy pick, but let’s be honest, a tight end is a hard sell in almost any NFL city as a flashy pick.

Bob Quinn hasn’t drafted or signed a free agent quarterback worth any kind of buzz and the same can almost be said for running backs. If Kerryon Johnson were ever able to stay healthy, that would be a different matter, but there has been very little splash outside of Bob Quinn’s first free-agent signing, receiver Marvin Jones and the drafting of Kenny Golladay.

When you add up Bob Quinn’s history of player acquisitions, it almost screams that he has had virtually no influence from the Ford family. At least not the type of traditional influence that William Clay Ford used to give.

In other words, it’s all Bob Quinn’s fault if he doesn’t fill the holes on the Lions roster this offseason and raise the talent level. Just as it will be all Matt Patricia’s fault if he isn’t willing to be more flexible with his defensive scheme in order to get better results instead of stubbornly banging his head against the wall screaming ‘Patriot Way!’

Over the course of the last 60 plus years of Detroit Lions misery, the Ford family has done more than their share to make this team a laughingstock. Yet since Martha Firestone Ford has taken over, it seems evident that outside of possibly wanting to keep Jim Caldwell when she hired Bob Quinn, she has allowed Bob Quinn a completely free hand at player acquisitions.

She has also seemingly demanded nothing of Matt Patricia other than the mandate to win next season.

We can all debate how wishy-washy the mandate was when it clearly should have been playoffs or bust, but she has allowed Quinn and Patricia to do their jobs as they have seen fit, without almost any ownership meddling.

The only thing she can be blamed for is continuing to back Quinn and Patricia. But the mistakes they have made are their own and if they once again fail to live up to expectations, then there will be nowhere to place the blame but on themselves.

Sure Stafford’s injury hurt last season, but with a better backup quarterback, they would have had a chance to be more competitive. With better defensive scheming and putting the defense in a better position to succeed, they could have been more effective on that side of the ball.

They probably could have held onto a couple more leads and maybe the Lions might have at least been in contention longer.

The only way I would believe that Mrs. Ford was giving any input is if the Lions select Tua Tagovailoa with the third pick. But I believe Mrs. Ford is happy with Matthew and Bob Quinn knows Stafford is their best chance to win now.

The Detroit Lions top 7 ‘buyer remorse’ first-round draft choices. dark. Next

One way or another it is now all on Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia. As much as we all like to blame the Ford family, they have allowed Quinn and Patricia the opportunity to sink or swim. For their own sake and the sake of long-suffering Lions fans, hopefully, they will finally get it right. If not then they will shoulder all the blame and the pink slips that come with it.