NFL Analyst Explains Why Lions Ownership Could Be Weighing Changes

Martha Ford

Getty Martha Ford before Lions vs. Eagles.

The Detroit Lions might have a big decision to make in a few months as it relates to the future of Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn, and it might be a more fluid situation than many people think.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, there has been some angst in the Motor City, and the Lions could be a team to watch for some potential changes. As La Canfora says, Detroit’s ownership group might not be sure of the direction of the franchise, which could lead to changes if the team doesn’t show up on Thanksgiving Day.

The game against the Chicago Bears could be a litmus test for the Lions to see where they’re at. If they are able to show some fight and win, it could go a long way toward proving that the team might deserve more time under Patricia and Quinn. A loss could only further complicate matters for the duo.

Calls for change are becoming deafening from within the fanbase, and many from the outside have already done the same, albeit sarcastically admitting they feel nothing will be done. The Lions still feel likely to go into 2020 with Patricia and Quinn calling the shots, because the coach hasn’t been on the job three years and the team has battled a numerous amount of injuries in spite of all the other problems.

Still, this sentiment could prove that the Lions might be a team to watch in the weeks ahead for a change if their play doesn’t improve.

Bob Quinn’s Lions Tenure

Quinn came to Detroit after Martha Ford stunningly blew out Detroit’s front office following a debacle in the 2015 season. Quinn entered from New England and elected to observe Caldwell for two full seasons before making a move. Though Caldwell would finish with a winning record, Quinn eventually sacked him at the end of the season in 2017.

All the while, Quinn has been the one crafting the roster, and there have been some major hits as well as some obvious misses for the general manager. In 2016, Quinn’s first draft involved the selection of Taylor Decker along the offensive front. Decker has been solid, but far from elite. The 2016 draft also saw the Lions pick up Graham Glasgow who’s been a starter, as well as a solid piece.

From there, Quinn has managed to find a few difference makers every draft season. 2017 brought Jarrad Davis, who has been alright as well as Kenny Golladay, who has arguably been Quinn’s best pick. In subsequent drafts, players like Glasgow, Jamal Agnew, Frank Ragnow, Da’Shawn Hand, Tracy Walker, Kerryon Johnson and Tyrell Crosby have been solid contributors and shown glimpses.

In free agency, Quinn’s work has been more hit or miss. He has picked up names like Marvin Jones, Justin Coleman, Trey Flowers and Devon Kennard but has surprised by adding names like Jesse James, Christian Jones and Rashaan Melvin, all of whom have struggled to fit in. Quinn has also made some failed signings at running back.

As a whole, it’s perhaps a bit more on Quinn that Detroit has struggled so badly this season. His roster has not had the advantage of key depth that so many teams in the NFL feature.

Matt Patricia’s Lions Tenure

Patricia came to the Lions fresh off success in New England in 2018, and struggled out of the gate to capture the attention of the locker room. A bumpy start paved the way to a more solid finish in 2018 with the team only winning six games, but defeating squads like the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers, which offered hope.

Patricia has helped the Lions stay in games for the most part in 2019, something which the team struggled with in 2018, but has not gotten them over the hump at closing. That’s perhaps his biggest wart so far as a boss, combined with a lousy defense that has not picked up the program whatsoever. Patricia might get more of a pass considering the absurd amount of injuries he’s dealt with, but it’s hard to ignore that in his tenure as coach, the Lions have had the same discipline problems plague them that always have through the years.

The bet is that both Patricia and Quinn get a mulligan on 2019 considering the rash of injuries that have set the team back, while also living with the understanding that 2020 is likely the make or break year for this group.

That might not be the case when all is said and done, however, if Martha Ford has her way.

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