When looking to rebuild a franchise, one doesn't have to look further than Foxborough to find inspiration. The New England Patriots have been the exact definition of a dynasty since Bill Belichick joined the team in 2000. Injuries, suspensions, controversies; nothing outside of the New York Giants seem to be able to derail the Patriots train.
Which leads us to the Detroit Lions' general manager candidate, Bob Quinn. Quinn joined the Patriots in the same year as Belichick and has slowly risen in the ranks since. Here's a look at his career.
Coming into New England, Quinn had no NFL experience. Having just graduated from the University of Connecticut, Quinn served his time as a graduate assistant for the Huskies for the following two years while he earned his master's degree in sports management. That was all it took for Quinn to make the jump to the big leagues.
As to be expected, there isn't a lot of information out there about the inner-goings of the Patriots' front office and what role Quinn has played. That being said, here is the progression of Quinn's titles within the organization:
- 2000-2001: Player personnel assistant
- 2002-2003: Pro scout
- 2004-2007: Regional scout
- 2008: National scout
- 2009-2011: Assistant director of pro personnel
- 2012-2015: Director of pro scouting
Quinn obviously has a lot of experience in personnel decisions, on both the college and professional side of the job. Belichick confirmed as much earlier in the week when asked about Quinn:
Bill Belichick on Lions GM candidate Bob Quinn (director of pro personnel): "# of responsibilities - pro, college, advance. Real solid job."— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 5, 2016
And that's about as much information as you'll pull out of New England.
There aren't any specific things to point to in Quinn's career, mostly because there just isn't any information out there. But Quinn has had an increasing role in the franchise that dominated the NFL from 2001 to today. That has to count for something.
Unlike some of the other candidates we profiled, Quinn has experience scouting NFL and college players. Having his career blossom in New England, Quinn likely has a unique perspective of what the interior of an organization should look like. And because he's had multiple roles with the team, he's likely familiar with most -- if not all -- aspects of the Patriots' front office.
For what it's worth, Gil Brandt, former Vice President of player personnel, had nothing but great things to say in this Lynn Henning piece from The Detroit News:
"There’s nobody close to this guy as far as knowledge and ability to evaluate. He understands analytics, he understands the salary cap, and this guy, to me, is a superior evaluator of people and players."
Like with all candidates that hail from the quiet halls for Foxborough, it's hard to pin down Quinn's specific role with the team and how much credit he deserves for the team's success. With so little information out there on Quinn, he's either their secret weapon or just a small cog in their expansive, overpowering machine. History seems to tell us that Patriot underlings don't succeed when cut from the Belichick umbilical cord.
Quinn is a hard candidate to get excited about, if for no other reason than the lack of details on him. He's an extreme unknown, and when a person like that comes from New England, proceed with caution. Still, that doesn't mean he's unworthy of an interview. If the guy continues to receive an expanded role in the league's best front office, that probably means he's doing a good job. Still, Quinn will have to win the job with his interview, because his resume is just too clouded in Patriots dust to see anything clear.