The owner in title of the Detroit Lions may have changed, but that doesn’t mean the expectations have for the team or their coaching staff and front office in 2020.
After being revealed as the team’s new owner, Sheila Ford Hamp was asked about her edict which was made back in December that the Lions be playoff contenders in 2020. Nothing in her mind has changed since then with regards to the direction the team should have.
As Ford Hamp conceded, this coming season could be an odd year given the unknowns created by coronavirus, so as a result she isn’t putting a number on what she hopes the team will accomplish. Still, it’s clear when she spoke that she is interested in fostering a winning culture within the city’s football team.
Whether that comes with Patricia sooner or someone else later remains to be seen, but it’s clear that expectations from the top remain high.
Lions Praised for Keeping Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn
When Lions brass explained their decision late last season to keep the duo in place for 2020, a major reason was seen as continuity, and how things looked before the 2019 season spiraled out of control with injuries and other issues.
As ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported at the time, folks around the league in other front offices and other coaching rooms were extremely complementary of what the Lions were building prior to the bottom falling out this season, and they think the Lions could be on the verge of having a solid team given the changes they’ve made in the last few years.
With this in mind, it makes sense that the Lions would be apprehensive to pull the plug on Patricia after his second season. It’s true the group was doing some very good things prior to the implosion this season, and it’s possible the group is banking on a major resurgence for 2020, especially after the changes in free agency and the draft. Obviously, that will have to be the case or jobs will be on the line.
Will the gamble pay off? That’s yet to be seen, but at the very least, it doesn’t seem as if the Lions are flying by the seat of their pants with this decision.
Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn Returning to Lions
Lions ownership made the decision and revealed it for reporters, 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, but many from the outside believe it to be the case.
In the months since the decision, plenty has changed but it’s clear what the team expects from their leadership hasn’t.