Glover Quin played under Matt Patricia for a year, and while the former Detroit Lions defender didn’t know the coach that well, he is concerned the message the boss is projecting might not be resonating with the squad.
Speaking on The Pat McAfee Show, Quin talked about some of the troubles the Lions are having in 2019, and explained that the team might be in a precarious position to finish the year because they might lack the motivation to do so for Patricia as coach.
In a piece by ESPN’s Michael Rothstein, some quotes from Quin during his visit to the show are presented that paint the Detroit situation in a very tough light.
“Right now, they’re struggling,” Quin said. “It’s not a great situation and it’s not a situation where, like, I don’t know if they can fight out of it right now because I don’t know if the love and the like for Patricia’s style makes the players want to fight out of it.”
He assessed the Lions, having lost five straight games and playing a third-string quarterback, and said Detroit might be at the point where “let’s just get this thing over with.”
“I feel bad for ’em because I know how much they put into it, how much effort they put into it,” Quin said. “You know guys put so much into it and to have a season basically over like that, it’s so difficult. I just don’t know. They’re in a bad spot right now.”
In spite of this take, Patricia spoke to the media on Wednesday and rejected the notion that players aren’t buying in and are not motivated to finish out the season strongly.
“I didn’t see any of that. I think our guys fight really hard. I don’t think there’s any question about that whatsoever. I really appreciate this group, I appreciate how hard they work. I think everyone in the building right now knows guys are engaged, they’re working hard to get better,” Patricia told the media when asked about the comments.
It’s not exactly as if Quin is merely a bitter former employee, either. During his time with the Lions, Quin put up 424 total tackles and 19 interceptions. He was an unquestioned leader of the team until he realized he no longer had the desire to keep going after 2018 ended.
Quin remains one of the more respected Lions’ players in recent memory, making his take particularly interesting to note.
Lions Front Office Also Taking Heat
It’s not merely Patricia getting some of the heat for his coaching and style; the team’s front office itself has been hammered in recent weeks from the outside for how they treat players and their overall plan.
Such was the case with former wideout Jace Billingsley. After Billingsley, who has transitioned from his football life to get involved in music, included a photo of Detroit’s duo of Bob Quinn and Rod Wood wearing clown noses in a music video, the wideout was questioned by Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press and provided some answers as it related to his attire.
Here’s a look at what Billingsley said in the piece:
“I don’t think Bob and Rod are bad people,” Billingsley said in a text message. “But I don’t agree with a lot of the ways they ran the organization. I believe they tried to have too much control over the coaches and players, and I think they make many decisions that have their own interests prioritized over what is best for the team.”
Billingsley sent that message as a follow-up to a 20-minute phone interview with the Free Press, and he said “the fact that they cut me has nothin’ to do with” the grainy photo he used in the video for his first single, “Battle Born.”
For his part, Billingsley didn’t make any excuses about his own play in the same piece, taking ownership of the fact that he never ended up as a mainstay on Detroit’s roster. It seems as if his beef is more a business issue rather than a personal issue.
In addition to Billingsley, safety Quandre Diggs spoke out following his trade, admitting he felt the decision makers were trying to control or stifle folks who have strong personalities in the locker room.
Whatever the reason, there has been some definite discontent with former members of the squad revealing their true feelings about either the staff or the decision makers.
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. At this point, however, nobody knows what the decision makers are thinking.
How the Lions finish for Patricia could go a long way in determining what happens with the coach at season’s end.