Entering month five of his employment as the Detroit Lions general manager, Bob Quinn is finally starting to reveal some things about himself and his methods. When he first arrived in Detroit, many believed he would bring in the New England Patriot way of being completely bottled up and secretive. But since his arrival, Quinn has made several radio show appearances and has even answered fans' questions directly. During these interviews, he's been surprisingly candid, openly admitting that Robert Nkemdiche was red-flagged by the team prior to the draft and freely saying Detroit did not consider drafting Connor Cook.
His openness continued this week as he joined radio personality Jim Rome on Wednesday to talk about the 2016 season.
Quinn focused mostly on how he is planning to build the team. Quinn once again reiterated the importance of building a team from the inside out. "You can't be competitive in the league without strong offensive and defensive lines," Quinn said via the phone interview. Quinn has obviously backed up those words with actions, drafting linemen with five of his ten draft picks this year, including four of the team's first five selections.
But Quinn also dropped another important hint into his draft process, admitting that leadership was a valued commodity among draft prospect. "A number of guys that we drafted and signed after the draft were team captains," Quinn said. "I think when you're trying to rebuild the depth of a football team, you obviously want to get good player, but you want good leadership in the locker room." Taylor Decker, Anthony Zettel, Miles Killebrew and Joe Dahl are just a few examples of acquisitions this season that have spent time in leadership roles.
In the end, Quinn's philosophy is evident to anyone paying attention. He says he wants to create a "big, tough, strong" team, and considering the Lions' moves this offseason, this should not come as a surprise to anyone. Still, it's a bit shocking to see such openness from a branch of the Belichick tree.
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Other notes from Quinn's interview with Jim Rome:
- Quinn admitted he did not try to talk Calvin Johnson out of retirement. "When a player starts talking about retirement, they've already kind of made their decision in their mind," Quinn said.
- Talking about players who may step up in Johnson's absence, Quinn mentioned Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, Jeremy Kerley, Eric Ebron, TJ Jones, Brandon Pettigrew, Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah. No mention of Corey Fuller or Andre Caldwell.
- Quinn mentioned four things he believes are extremely important when scouting a player: his game film, his character, his mental abilities and his medical history.