Lions GM Quinn: No decision yet on Caldwell
Allen Park — Lions general manager Bob Quinn said he plans to make a decision sooner rather than later, but the process of determining whether Jim Caldwell will coach the team in 2016 has yet to begin.
During his introductory news conference Monday afternoon, Quinn said he met Caldwell for the first time earlier Monday, but it was a brief interaction. Before making any decision on Caldwell, Quinn plans to meet at length with the coach. Quinn also said he’d like to meet with quarterback Matthew Stafford to discuss Caldwell, though he declined to say how important the overall player support would be in his evaluation.
For now, there’s no timetable on when Quinn will make a decision about Caldwell, but he said the two likely wouldn’t meet again Monday.
“It’s going to be my feeling about if I can work with Coach Caldwell,” Quinn said when asked what would go into the decision. “His philosophy, his beliefs, will they mesh with mine? The scouting staff and the coaching staff have to mesh together, so if you can’t have that, it’s going to be a hard mix. So, I really want to get to know Coach Caldwell and see if we can work together.”
Quinn, 39, said he has “a great deal of respect” for Caldwell. Having spent the past 16 years in the scouting department for the New England Patriots, Quinn regularly saw Caldwell’s teams play when he was with the Indianapolis Colts from 2002-11.
Quinn also tried to put to rest any rumors that his decision on Caldwell’s future will be influenced by Lions ownership.
“This decision will be mine and mine alone,” he said.
After Quinn’s news conference, Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford declined to say how she felt about Caldwell’s unknown status. With Ford’s husband William Clay Ford Sr. dying in March 2014, she’s been the primary owner for the entirety of Caldwell’s 18-14 regular-season record as coach the past two seasons.
“I love Jim Caldwell, but I don’t want to answer that question,” she said.
President Rod Wood, who runs the non-personnel side of the organization, said he didn’t have a timetable for Quinn to make a decision about Caldwell.
“I want Bob to have enough time to meet with him and make his own decision, but I’m confident he’ll be able to do that as quickly as possible,” Wood said.
Quinn said he was impressed with the Lions' 6-2 close after a 1-7 start in 2015, but his evaluation of Caldwell will be based on the coach's entire body of work.