Monday evening, the Detroit Lions invited season ticket holders to Ford Field to participate in a Q&A session with the big trio inside the Lions organization: head coach Matt Patricia, general manager Bob Quinn and team president Rod Wood.
Much of the summit was filled with predictable answers. Plenty of secrecy regarding draft strategy, Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia and Rod Wood all mentioned they weren’t happy with 2018’s results, and there were other cliches throughout the night.
But one unexpected moment happened when a fan asked whether the team was interested in selecting a quarterback with the eighth overall pick in following the NFL trend to get a young, cheap quarterback to help their roster building. General manager Bob Quinn surprised many with his answer.
“Yeah, we’ll consider any position in the draft at any point in time,” Quinn said. “Whether it’s the eighth overall pick and we have multiple picks later in the draft. We’re in a position now with the eighth overall pick that the whole draft is really wide open to us. We’re not really going to eliminate any prospects.”
That alone doesn’t sound like much. Of course a general manager is going to say nothing is off the board. Why tip any strategies, even if it is something that seems obvious? But then Quinn ended his statement with a pretty strong statement.
“If there’s a quarterback out there that we deem could help us this year or in the future, we’ll never close the door on that.”
Nowhere in his answer did Quinn mention his confidence in Matthew Stafford. In fact, all night Stafford’s name barely ever came up, and there was no vote of confidence from the trio during the 60 minute session.
This comes as a very different narrative than both Patricia and Quinn gave at the end of the season.
“Matthew Stafford is our quarterback,” Quinn said just a month ago, shooting down trade rumors. “He will be our quarterback here.”
Patricia echoed those statements at the time.
“We’re in a situation where Matt Stafford is our quarterback. That’s what it is,” Patricia said. “So, like I said, I think the world of the guy. I think he’s an unbelievable competitor, I think he’s a great player, and I have to do everything I can to try to help him as much as possible.”
But without as much as a small endorsement of their quarterback on Monday, has something changed since the coaching staff completed their self-evaluation of the 2018 season? Or is this just a ploy to remain ambiguous as we enter free agency and the draft period? The latter seems more likely, but it was admittedly odd to see both Quinn and Patricia go most of the night without mentioning their franchise quarterback at all.