Quinn: McDaniels, Patricia ‘ready’ to be head coaches

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Lions general manager Bob Quinn plans to evaluate Jim Caldwell’s coaching career before making a decision about his future in Detroit.

Until Quinn decides to retain or dismiss Caldwell, speculation about other candidates will be a hot topic.

And two of the popular names are men who worked with Quinn for the majority of their careers, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

“I think they’re both ready and willing to be head coaches,” Quinn said after his news conference Monday.

Of course, that doesn’t mean either coach will be in Detroit in 2016. Quinn said he wants to meet with Lions coaches and players to fully evaluate the team, and he plans to talk with Caldwell as part of his evaluation of the coach.

“I’m not going to make a snap judgment on anything,” Quinn said. “That’s not how I work.”

Quinn started in the Patriots personnel department in 2000. McDaniels, 39, joined the coaching staff the next year, and Patricia, 41, arrived in 2004.

After being offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in New England from 2006-08, McDaniels became the head coach for the Broncos in 2009. Denver went 8-8 his first year before a 3-9 start in 2010 led to his firing.

McDaniels was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Rams in 2011 before regaining the same job with the Patriots in 2012.

Meanwhile, Patricia has been the defensive coordinator since 2012 after coaching linebackers, safeties and the offensive line.

“I’ve kept a list of attributes of a head coach over my time in New England,” Quinn said. “Not just Coach (Bill) Belichick, but all the coordinators that have come through there that have become successful head coaches across the league or in college. So, I think I have a pretty good grasp of what I’m looking for.”

McDaniels, Bill O’Brien, Charlie Weis, Eric Mangini, Romeo Crennel, Dom Capers and Dean Pees are among the former or current head coaches — both in college and the NFL — with which Quinn worked in New England.

Obviously, if he relieves Caldwell of his duties, Quinn could look at candidates with no ties to the Patriots or Lions, too.

At this point, the Lions couldn’t interview or hire any coaches working for a playoff team until their team is eliminated. So, if Quinn makes a move, the next head coach might not be in place until after the Super Bowl.

And as Quinn looks at his options as a first-time GM, he said he hasn’t put much thought into how much head coaching experience he wants the Lions’ coach to have.

“I just want to get the best person for the Lions,” he said.