Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn hasn’t spoken much to the media as of late. He’s been a bit of a ghost ever since the NFL Draft, so when he speaks, it’s always interesting to take note of what he said.
During the third quarter of Saturday’s Lions-Jets preseason game, Quinn joined the broadcast booth to answer a few questions about the team, and we transcribed the entire session below:
On the depth of the defensive line: “We added a bunch of guys this offseason and they showed up in the first half here. Akeem Spence was active, you know, Zettel just made a play right here. So, yeah, it was a good showing from the defensive line.”
On Anthony Zettel’s value as a run defender: “Yeah, he’s active on the edge. He’s got good instincts, he’s got good size. He can set the edge and he can shed blockers, which is really, you know, the most important thing so he can actually make a play. So, you know, Anthony came in great shape to the start of camp, and he’s really improved since last year.”
On what he saw, that other teams didn’t, in Teez Tabor to draft him in the second round: “I wouldn’t say that other people didn’t pick up on it, we were just fortunate enough to select him before everyone else did. Jalen’s a really good instinctive player, he’s smart. He recognizes routes, which is really—you can’t teach that. You can’t teach that in little league football or Pop Warner. He recognizes what the offenses are trying to do and he reacts accordingly.
We went down there in Florida and spent a lot of time with him for a day, along with our first-round pick, and came away very impressed.”
On how long he expects a corner like Tabor to be ready to play in the NFL: “I think everyone is different. I think he’s got the skill-set to contribute early. We have a lot of depth at corner, too, so he’s got to beat out some guys to get on the field, which is good for a rookie.”
On if he agrees if you can never have too many corners: “Yeah, it’s a passing league. Third down sub-defenses are where teams win and lose games. So we feel that we’re very competitive with our corners.”
On what he likes about Greg Robinson: “Number one: He has all the athletic tools: The size, quickness, strength. That stuff is what made him the No. 2 overall pick four years ago. He’s learning our system and he’s gradually getting there. It’s hard. He didn’t practice one time for us in the spring. To come in and start training camp, he’s made good progress, he has a long way to go, but so far, so good.
On why he’s calm about Matthew Stafford contract negotiations: “I think we’ve had good communication back and forth. And I’ve said this numerous times, these deals take a long time to do, a long time to finalize. Like I said before, I’m confident something will get done, and we’re shooting for that.”
On what has pleased him most about the Lions’ preseason and camp performances: “I think our players have adapted well. We’ve changed things in our offseason program. We’ve changed some things in the way we schedule practices during the spring and into training camp. So I think the guys have really bought in. And going down to Indianapolis to do the joint practices, those are never easy, and our guys were all for it. Last year was the first time the Lions have done it in a long, long time. So the guys actually enjoyed it last year against Pittsburgh, and when we came back this year, they were excited to go down to Indianapolis.”
On if there’s a chance there will be future joint practices in Detroit: “Yeah, we’re working on that. It’s just the way the schedule worked out, it was kind of hard, but we’re definitely working on that for next year.
Logistically there’s no problems, it’s just kind of matching up the schedule.”
On his thoughts on rookie linebacker Jarrad Davis: “He was probably practicing a little better than he played (last week). I think he was active last week. He probably left a couple plays out on the field that he could have made. But I think he showed up in the first half here. I think the first play of the game, he came off the edge and made a great play. You know, you [pointing to Chris Spielman] played linebacker in this league for a long time, it’s going to take a couple games, a couple series to get in with the flow of the game, but we’re really happy with where he is right now.”