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Full video, transcript of Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp’s post-firing press conference

If you missed the presser, here’s what the Lions owner had to say about the recent firings.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Around 4 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon, Detroit Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp and team president Rod Wood addressed the media in a private Zoom call to address the recent firings of head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn.

Here is the full transcript as provided by the team.

UPDATE: Video of the presser is at the bottom of the page.

Lions Principal Owner and Chairman Sheila Ford Hamp opening statement:

“As you’ve heard, earlier this afternoon, (President and CEO) Rod Wood and I met with Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia and informed them that we are moving in a different direction. On behalf of my family, I want to thank Bob and Matt for their hard work and their dedication to the Lions organization over the past several years. They’re both very fine men, and we wish them nothing but the best in the rest of their careers. Obviously, this season has not gone the way we expected. We want to take the rest of this year to assess every aspect of our football operation, find the best individuals to lead and coach our team. For the remainder of this season (Offensive Coordinator) Darrell Bevell will be our interim (head) coach. I expect Darrell and our team to play hard and compete in our remaining five games. Our football executives, including (Vice President of Player Personnel) Kyle O’Brien, (Director of Player Personnel) Lance Newmark, (Director of Pro Scouting) Rob Lohman and (Vice President of Football Administration) Mike Disner, will report directly to Rod Wood for the balance of this season as we analyze our organizational structure and evaluate candidates for our general manager position.

“To our loyal fans, we know this has been a challenging year for everyone. Not having our fans around to support our team has been difficult for all of us. Football this season has looked, and felt, different, but it doesn’t change the fact that we play for you. As I said in my opening press conference, I will do everything I can to put a winning team on the field for our fans and the City of Detroit. Unfortunately, we haven’t won enough over the last three seasons, and our efforts to find the right leadership for the Lions begins today. Thank you very much, and I’m happy to answer any questions.”

On if the last straw was the recent losses to Carolina and Houston:

(Ford Hamp) “Honestly, yes. Ten days ago, we looked like we had a good chance to be playoff bound. Both of those games were extremely disappointing. It just seemed like the path going forward wasn’t what we wanted it to be. So yes, we thought this was a good time to make the change.”

On relieving the head coach and general manager is representative of her previous statement of wanting the team to play meaningful games in December:

(Ford Hamp) “Yes, hope so. I meant what I said last December, and I still mean it. So yes, things were not going well, it was not what we wanted. We were hoping to be playoff bound – I guess we still have a slight mathematical chance. But things were just not seeming to go in the right way.”

On what the power structure of the organization will look like going forward: (Ford Hamp) “We’re going to look at it all. We haven’t made that decision yet. We’ll probably have to do what the candidates we’re looking at, and how that would play out, but we’re open. We have not set that yet.”

On the most important attributes of a head coach and general manager:

(Ford Hamp) “Again, that’s not completely defined yet. All that – I promise you. We are going to do an extremely thorough and comprehensive search for both positions. And yes, we have some ideas on what we’re looking for, but again, not clearly defined. I have a feeling today you’re going to have a lot more questions than I’m going to have answers to. So, I’ll do the best I can.”

On if a search firm will be utilized in the hiring process:

(Ford Hamp) “Again, we’re open. We talked about that. We probably will. We’re going to be talking to a lot of people and using a lot of resources simultaneously. We’re not going to just rely on one avenue. There’s going to be several things we’re doing.”

On if the Lions looked at former Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Bob Quinn and former Head Coach Matt Patricia as one package:

(Ford Hamp) “We looked at it from all angles.”

On if the Lions will look at both the college and professional levels for their next head coach:

(Ford Hamp) “Again, we’re going to be looking at everything.”

On how the Lions went about the decision to bring back former Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Bob Quinn and former Head Coach Matt Patricia before the 2020 season:

(Ford Hamp) “Well, as I said last year in December, last year was an unusual season also. We seem to be stacking up unusual seasons for different reasons. We had hoped that this year, the third year, things would gel, and Matt’s process and his coaching ability and everything would come together in a good way. And then it just became clear that it wasn’t working.”

On if it’s important for the next regime to know the franchise’s history and understand the past of the Detroit Lions:

(Ford Hamp) “We can’t hide our past, that’s for sure. But I think I’m very dedicated to turning this ship around and really making a difference, and hopefully we won’t have to look back very much. We’ll just look forward.”

On if the organization still wants to commit to QB Matthew Stafford long term:

(Ford Hamp) “Well since I’m not the coach, I’m probably not the right person to ask that question to. So, we’ll see what the new coach has to say.”

On her assessment of QB Matthew Stafford over his time with the Lions:

(Ford Hamp) “I think he’s (an) extremely talented young man, and he’s tough as nails. It’s been tough for him. Again, I think coach will make that decision.”

On why this time will be different for Detroit Lions fans:

(Ford Hamp) “Well, again, you know as well as I do, there are no guarantees. All I can say is I’m going to work as hard as I can along with Rod (Wood), and we are going to make this an extremely thorough and comprehensive search. We’re going to do the very best we can.”

On if it was concerning to see unnamed players publicly criticize former Head Coach Matt Patricia’s culture:

(Ford Hamp) “You know, players are going to have different ideas. Some players are going to think one way, some are going to think another. Not really, no. I mean, (I was) hoping that it was going to all pull together. I think in many ways – I think we’ve got a really talented team, or a talented team. I think we should have come together better than we have. I guess we just felt like the leadership wasn’t getting that job done.”

On if the Lions will lean on the NFL’s resources to help bring in a new regime:

(Ford Hamp) “Again, we’re going to lean on all sorts of resources, and the League will probably be one of them. Rod (Wood) and I, too, but Rod particularly has some really terrific relationships there. So, we’ll ask questions of them and put together a list of other people that we want to talk to. I say we’re going to do a comprehensive – it will be a very comprehensive process. We’re going to talk to a ton of people.”

On if she has gotten hands-on and in-depth with the organization like she thought she would have when she took over as principal owner in June:

(Ford Hamp) “Well, as you know, this has been a very strange year, and COVID-19’s prevented a lot of hands-on things that I would have done normally or hoped to do in the future. I’ve had some Zoom meetings with different areas in the organization. I wish I could have talked to them more in person, but (I) started a process of meeting with people and plan to continue that. I plan to be as hands-on as I possibly can from my seat.”

On if her process of meeting with people internally will impact how much external assistance is needed in the General Manager and Head Coaching search:

(Ford Hamp) “Well, we’ll talk to people here too, but it’s a two-prong thing, I think.”

On how long she has been moving in a direction of making a regime change in case things did not work out:

(Ford Hamp) “Well, obviously, you know, it’s something that’s been on my mind. I want to do the right thing by this organization and that’s the bottom line. (I) hoped that this season would have been played out differently, but it hasn’t. It just felt like now is the time to make the change and to really begin to look forward.”

On if she has considered shifting power structure within the organization with more of a football oriented president and potentially redefining the role of Lions President and CEO Rod Wood:

(Ford Hamp) “I have no plans to change what Rod is doing, but we’re looking at some organizational chart moves and it’s all going to be a part of this process.”

On if she can reflect on different decisions her parents made when leading the organization and how that can help her moving forward:

(Ford Hamp) “Well, again, hindsight is 20-20. Yes, mistakes have been made. I’ll be the first one to admit when I’m making mistakes, too. I’ll look at that, but I really would rather look forward and try to really dig into what’s in front of me and make this hopefully a homerun for us. But it’s going to be a lot of work. Rod (Wood) and I are rolling up our sleeves already and we’re going to get to work immediately.”

On if the potential financial implications of a regime change during a pandemic have been of any concerns to her:

(Ford Hamp) “We’ve done a thorough financial study of things and think we’re prepared to handle whatever we need to handle.”

Lions President and CEO Rod Wood:

“Just a couple things before we wrap up, just a couple things – (Michael), on your question – I know there’s rumors out there about us already engaged in a search firm, that’s not happened. So, just to clear that. And I think it’s important, we didn’t really touch on it, you guys didn’t ask, but Sheila (Ford Hamp) and I also addressed the team before this call. So, the team and the coaching staff have heard directly from Sheila as well. That would be important to get out there.”

Lions Principal Owner and Chairman Sheila Ford Hamp: “And also, in that call with the team, we did a Zoom meeting and Coach (Darrell) Bevell addressed them as well and a couple players spoke up in a good way. It was a good meeting.”

On if there were any players conferred with before deciding to let Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia go:

(Wood) “No, we didn’t talk to any of the current players before the decision.”

On what the reaction was in the team meeting to the decisions:

(Wood) “Well, it’s kind of hard to gauge a reaction on Zoom, as you know. But as Sheila said, several players spoke up and it was in a very positive, ‘Let’s get back to work and figure out how we’re going to go beat the Bears.’”

On if he has been given guidance by the League on what the Rooney Rule process entails now that it applies to executive positions as well as coaching searches:

(Wood) “The Rooney Rule has been around, as you know, for a while, but it has been enhanced and updated and the current requirements are for head coaching, we will need to interview two diverse candidates outside of our organization. And for the general manager (position), one diverse candidate from outside of the organization and to the extent that we were to fill any other executive positions, at least one diverse candidate. So, for my job in the future or even at a sales, marketing or legal (position), at least one diverse candidate is required to be interviewed and given a chance to compete for the job. And we will follow the Rooney Rule not only in its spirit, but beyond that as we search for our candidates.”

Here is the full video of the press conference:

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