Allen Park – The bar is high.
OK, maybe that’s not a memory Detroit Lions fans want to relive, but general manager Bob Quinn reminded everyone during a Friday morning interview with WJR-AM that decent is no longer an acceptable standard for the organization under his watch.
Quinn fired coach Jim Caldwell this past offseason, after back-to-back 9-7 seasons, because the GM believed a change was necessary to reach the desired goal of becoming a legitimate championship contender.
“Going through the evaluations the last couple years, I just thought we were middle of the road,” Quinn said. “Like you said, middle of the road was kind of OK here. When I came aboard two Januarys ago, that’s not where I came from. I came from getting to the playoffs every year and getting to that championship level.
“It was a tough decision to make, but I want to take this organization, this team to that next level, and to be consistently competing in January and February, I felt I needed to make the change.”
After three years on the job to shape the roster, Quinn believes Detroit’s personnel is close to where it needs to be, while also acknowledging there’s still some tweaking that needs to be done on the defensive side of the ball as the team builds around new coach Matt Patricia’s scheme.
Lions head coach Matt Patricia, Quandre Diggs, Kerry Hyder Jr. and Tavon Wilson after their first day of training camp. Daniel Mears, The Detroit News
“I think we’re getting there,” Quinn said. “I want to add more pieces, obviously with a new defense and kind of a new scheme, we’re going to have to make a little bit of an adjustment with the style of player we’re looking for there, which during the offseason we tried to address some of those positions in free agency, especially in linebacker.”
As for the team’s struggles running the ball throughout his tenure as GM, Quinn believes the team has put the pieces in place to see much-needed improvement.
“I don’t think a lot of people, on our coaching staff, had a lot of confidence in handing the ball off to get a yard or two,” Quinn said. “This year, going into it right now, we have a lot of confidence that we have a lot of different options that we can run the ball when we really need to run the ball. In this league, the NFL these days, those tough yards, the defense knows it’s coming and you know it’s coming, so you have to better personnel and better scheme and I feel going into this year our running game is going to be improved.”
In 2018, the Lions will be looking to return to the postseason for the second time in three years.