The Detroit Lions have made the decision on the future of Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn, and the duo will officially be returning for 2020.
Lions ownership made the decision, and Martha Ford and company explained that Patricia and Quinn would be returning, with an expectation that the team would be contending for the playoffs in 2020.
According to a piece by Kyle Meinke of MLive.com, the Ford family believes they have made the right move by working to retain the duo, even as things have spiraled out of control in 2019. Here’s a look at what was written:
“In short, they understand the calls for heads to roll. They go to the games too, and they see the losses stacking up. They’re frustrated like everybody else. But they believe there are mitigating factors, most notably the injuries, and that wholesale changes would disrupt the progress already made. So they are sticking with the process, opting for more minor changes to staffing and the roster instead.
“(Firing Patricia) would have been the popular choice, the popular decision, and we knew that,” Sheila Ford Hamp said. “But as I say, we’re doing what is right for the organization.”
Is it the right decision for a Lions team that has been close in 2019 but hasn’t gotten over the hump to retain the duo? Only time will tell.
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 was 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.
It might not be what Lions fans want to hear, but it always seemed like the likely outcome. And now, it is the truth.