In his introductory press conference, Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia—man, that feels nice to type—spoke about his comfort level with general manager Bob Quinn. He spoke of days in which they’d sit together in team meetings, or head out on road scouting trips side-by-side. That sort of ingrained working relationship was a big reason in why Patricia chose Detroit.
And according to Quinn, that sort of close relationship is going to continue with the Lions organization. The Lions general manager said that the two are going to be extremely close when constructing the future of this team.
“When Matt and I get together and we start really our formulating plan of what the team wants to look like, which I think we have a pretty good idea of how that’s going to run, obviously me and Matt are going to be tied at the hip in terms of player acquisition.”
And Quinn made it clear that this relationship wasn’t just going to be one-sided. Both he and Patricia will be working together to build the team that they both collectively want.
“We’re going to get together and we’re going to draft the players we both want. We’re going to sign the players we both want. We’re going to develop the players we both want. Those decisions are never going to be one-sided. We’re going to make the best decision for the Detroit Lions, and that’s going to be both of us together.”
While all this seems a bit intuitive, it represents a small, but significant change in the organization. There were never any clear signs that Bob Quinn and former head coach Jim Caldwell butted heads on any personnel decisions, but the fact remains that Caldwell was never really Quinn’s guy. The two had never even met before Quinn was hired as the next general manager.
As for some of the plans Quinn alluded to, he didn’t feel like sharing much. When asked about the immediate plans for soon-to-be free agent defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, Quinn said, “I have not talked to Matt about Ziggy yet. He [Patricia] literally just got here this morning. We didn’t talk about that during the interview process.”
So Quinn and Patricia have a lot of catching up to do. Being the second-to-last team to officially hire their new head coach, they’re essentially playing from behind 30 other teams. However, that’s nothing new for Patricia. Having been in the Super Bowl for three of the past four years, Patricia has had to suddenly shift from postseason to offseason, in an effort to catch the other 30 teams that got a month head start.
“As soon as everything is done, whenever that last game is, you’re in a catch-up mode and you’re trying to get going,” Patricia said. “ It’s the same situation I would have been in no matter what. I’m in that mode where there’s a lot of work to be done and not a lot of time to get it done.”