Bob Quinn, general manager of the Detroit Lions, talks about his decision to fire head coach Jim Caldwell. Max Ortiz, Detroit News
Allen Park — It’s clear the Detroit Lions are heading in a different direction after firing coach Jim Caldwell on Monday.
What’s unclear is whether tight end Eric Ebron will be part of the equation moving forward.
“I don't know. We'll see,” Ebron said Monday. “I'm not confident about what's going to happen next. I'm about to just go back and see what happens. They have until March to fully understand or for me to fully understand what my plan is going forward and we'll just go from there.
“I'm going to play somewhere in 2018, whether it's here or somewhere else. But I'll be playing football, and that's really all I care about.”
The Lions picked up the fifth-year option on Ebron’s contract last offseason, which would pay him roughly $8.25 million in 2018. However, that money is only guaranteed for injury and the Lions could cut ties with him without any financial obligation this offseason.
“I don't know what (general manager) Bob Quinn thinks. I really don't,” Ebron said. “I've known Bob Quinn for all of a year. I look forward to seeing what's about to happen next, whether it includes me or doesn't. We'll just go from there.”
When asked if he plans on bringing Ebron back next season, Quinn said, “Yeah, he’s under contract.”
“Eric had a good year,” Quinn said. “I think Eric really the last seven, eight weeks of the season he really kind of turned it on. When you look at his playing time over the course of the season, it actually went down over the course of the season, but his production went up. So, I think he was really used effectively. He gained some confidence over the course of the season and he performed better.”
Ebron played at least 50 percent of the offensive snaps in five of the first seven games, but was limited to two or fewer catches six times, under 10 yards receiving four times and caught only 46.9 percent of the passes (15-for-32) thrown his way.
But following the trade deadline, he turned into one of the team’s most reliable receivers down the stretch. He averaged four catches and 46 yards receiving per game with a 70.4 catch percentage (38-for-54) all while playing less than 50 percent of the snaps in seven of the final nine games.
Ebron finished the season with 53 catches for 574 yards and four touchdowns, which all rank as the second-best marks of his four-year career.
“I feel like my successes came from the amount of targets that ended up changing for me,” Ebron said. “The way they started to utilize me going into the end of the year allowed me to do what I do best.
“I just feel like that was the best possible thing for me and it worked out. Hopefully, we continue that so my whole season goes the way it ended instead of just the end of the season.”
With the uncertainty that a new coach and potential staff brings, Ebron said he’s diverse and will adjust to any changes but admitted the offensive scheme matters to him.
He added he feels like he’s found a good fit in the offense with quarterback Matthew Stafford and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, who remains under contract but future with the team is still to be determined.
“Do I think I've always been used right? I don't,” Ebron said. “But do I think it's the right scheme and the right offense, especially with the quarterback we have? Yeah.
“I think Jim Bob's done a fantastic job with us. Would love for him to have another year with us and see how it goes just simply because we know his offense and we know he's getting a better understanding of us the more he's here. We'll just see how that goes.”