Quinn won’t meddle in Lions’ coaching decisions

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Jim Caldwell

Mobile, Ala. — Lions general manager Bob Quinn discussed the importance of collaboration between the personnel department and coaching staff, but that doesn’t mean the new boss will meddle in coaching decisions.

During his 10-minute interview session with Detroit reporters at the Senior Bowl Wednesday, Quinn said he won’t tell coach Jim Caldwell and his staff how to use the players he acquires.

“I’m not going to suggest how to use players,” he said. “I’m going to bring the players to the team; the coaches are going to use them. What I’m going to ask the coaches to do is to develop them.”

In this respect, Quinn’s approach will be the same as former GM Martin Mayhew, who gave full autonomy to the coaches. Caldwell will also be completely in charge of decisions regarding his assistant coaches, too, Quinn said.

One of the reasons the New England Patriots, the team with which Quinn worked the past 16 years, have been so successful is the partnership with coaches and scouts. Obviously, it helps that coach Bill Belichick is the de facto GM, but the Patriots have specific traits they look for at each position.

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Assuming Quinn brings that approach to Detroit, he’ll look for those players and then ask the coaches to help them make strides.

“Players on this field out here at the Senior Bowl and even free agents that are younger players, they still need development,” Quinn said. “So that’s what I think one of the main jobs of the coach is to do. (The job of) the assistant coaches, the head coach, everyone in between is to develop these players, so when the time and place is ready to put them on the field, they’re going to perform for the Lions.”