Accorsi to remain as special adviser with Lions

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Ernie Accorsi thought he was done consulting for NFL teams after helping the Chicago Bears find their general manager, Ryan Pace, and coach, John Fox, last January.

“It was physically taxing as much as I enjoyed it,” the 74-year-old Accorsi said Sunday on a teleconference.

Then, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell asked him to help the Lions find their next GM this year. And now, after helping guide a two-month search that ended with the Lions hiring Bob Quinn, the director of pro scouting for the New England Patriots, Accorsi said he’ll continue advising the Lions.

Accorsi, a former GM for the Giants, Browns and Baltimore Colts, said he’ll be a special adviser to team president Rod Wood. In the role, Accorsi said he won’t have an office at the Lions’ facilities and doesn’t plan to travel to more than a couple of games. He also doesn’t know how long he’ll advise Wood.

“I’m 74 years old, let’s see how long I live, first of all,” he said. “I think (the adviser position) was a result of how well we worked together. You ask Rod that. I’m available to help in any way he asks.

“My job is not to interfere with the general manager. I’ve been a general manager of three teams; I know what it’s like to want to do your job.”

The Lions announced the hiring of Quinn on Friday night, and he will report directly to Wood, whom the team named president in November. Quinn and Wood replace former GM Martin Mayhew and president Tom Lewand.

The Lions plan to introduce Quinn during a 2 p.m. news conference Monday at team headquarters in Allen Park.

After the Lions fired Mayhew and Lewand, they considered several options for how to find their next leadership. They hired Wood as the president on Nov. 19 after he’d worked with the Ford family’s estate, and on Nov. 25, the Lions announced that Accorsi would consult Wood, owner Martha Firestone Ford and her children in the GM search.

Accorsi is on the NFL’s career development advisory board, and before consulting with the Lions, he helped the Bears, Panthers and Falcons in their most recent GM searches.

“Mr. Richardson in Carolina, who I’d been a consultant with two years ago, and the commissioner asked me to do this because Mrs. Ford was so committed to trying to get this thing on the right track, and I did it,” he said. “And I’m glad I did because it was such a great experience working for her.”