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Bob Quinn defends decision to keep Jim Caldwell: ‘I believe in his approach of managing the team’

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The Lions GM believes in the team’s head coach.

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn met with the media to wrap up the 2016 season and look forward to the offseason that has already begun for the Lions. This being Quinn’s first press conference since the team announced Jim Caldwell would be retained for another year, the Lions head coach was a hot topic during the media session.

“I believe in his approach of managing the team,” Quinn said when asked why he decided to bring back the veteran coach. “How he practices the team. How he maintains the health of the team.”

When Quinn first took over as general manager 12 months ago, Caldwell’s job was anything but secure. Many believed Quinn would bring in his own coaching staff, especially since he had no familiarity with Jim Caldwell prior to taking the Lions job.

“I didn’t know coach Caldwell a year ago,” Quinn said. “I sat down with him for a while and we talked for a couple days back last January, and every day Jim is really very consistent and I really enjoyed working with him.”

It’s that same consistency that Quinn says makes him a valuable head coach and leader for the Lions. “Being able to see him with the team starting back with the OTAs into the season, training camp, and it’s a consistent message,” Quinn said. “I really think that’s what you really need as a head coach. You can’t have a head coach that’s too high or too low.”

It is still unknown whether Caldwell’s contract was extended or if he’s instead working through the final year of his four-year contract that was signed back in 2014. When asked why he didn’t extend Caldwell if he has so much faith him, Quinn responded, “I never said we weren’t extending him.” When asked whether he was extending him, Quinn said those kind of conversations would remain quiet.

Regardless of Caldwell’s future beyond 2017, Quinn made clear that the goals he set out in 2016 were not met. “The season wasn’t good enough,” Quinn said of the team’s 9-7 finish. Quinn also echoed Caldwell’s statement earlier in the week that the Lions are a “ways away” from being a Super Bowl team. “We won nine games and lost eight,” Quinn said. “We have a lot of work to do.”

And while Quinn admits the Lions need a lot of improvement to build a Super Bowl winning team, he’s comfortable with the coaching staff he has. “Winning nine games is good—it’s not good enough—but I felt really comfortable with the way things went this year. I’m looking forward to 2017 with Jim.”