Lions' Quinn, Patricia talk Jarrad Davis, players' potential, tight ends, more at summit
Detroit — The Detroit Lions conducted their annual season ticket holder summit on Monday. The event included two moderated panels, one with the team's training staff and a second with the three coordinators.
That was followed by a live Q&A with general manager Bob Quinn, coach Matt Patricia and team president Rod Wood.
Unlike previous years, where questions were filtered before being asked by a moderator, fans were able to directly ask questions at this year's event.
We've covered several of the more newsworthy items from the two-plus hour event, including Quinn's stated willingness to draft a quarterback in the first round, explaining why the team didn't consider signing running back Kareem Hunt and the organization's desire to avoid being featured on HBO's "Hard Knocks." Here are some final observations from the evening.
► Setting the filter-free tone for the Q&A right out the gate, the first question was about why the Lions couldn't get the same quality production out of linebacker Kyle Van Noy that he's shown since being traded to the New England Patriots.
Patricia fielded the question and focused less on Van Noy and more on examples from his own roster last season to demonstrate how a schematic change can unlock a player's potential. Among the players Patricia highlighted were waiver claim Romeo Okwara, free-agent signing Devon Kennard and trade addition Eli Harold.
► One fan, a first-year season ticket holder, shared a story about how he went to high school with Jarrad Davis and how the Lions linebacker would stand up for the fan's brother, who had special needs. Both Quinn and Patricia thanked the fan for his story and raved about Davis' character.
Patricia said Davis clearly wants to be great in everything he does and his determination is what makes him special. Quinn said the young linebacker is easily one of the hardest workers on the team and regularly has to be kicked out of the facility at the end of the night.
► Elaborating on the need for the team to add playmakers this offseason, Quinn said the team is focusing on how players perform on third down and in the red zone during evaluations.
► Quinn re-emphasized the need for addressing the tight end position after last year's efforts in free agency fell short. The general manager noted the scouting department just wrapped up a review of the college draft class and many of the underclassmen in the draft have skills that overlap with what the Lions are looking for at the position.
► Asked about the value of the new Alliance of American Football league, Quinn noted the importance of young players getting live reps, especially offensive lineman, who have suffered the most from practice restrictions hindering development.
► One fan wanted to know if Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf was on Detroit's radar. Quinn said he's been watching Metcalf since 2017 and the receiver will be in the discussion when the team is drafting.
► Quinn and Patricia were asked about interest in Antonio Brown and quarterback Nick Foles, but declined comment because of tampering concerns.
► The Lions' influence on the Patriots' Super Bowl game plan came up several times during the evening. Patricia was coy when talking about the topic, especially when asked if he consulted with the Patriots leading up to the game.
► Another first-year season-ticket holder bemoaned his first game was the blowout loss to the Jets. Patricia quipped, "Me too."
► On the trade that landed Damon Harrison, the talks started the evening before and Quinn went to bed panicked the Giants would reconsider overnight.
► John Bonamego interviewed with the Vikings for their special-teams coordinator vacancy before meeting with Patricia.
► Strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash said the biggest changes he's had to deal with during his time in the business is how little time he's afforded to work with players during the offseason. He said that's changed his approach to improving strength deep into the regular season, with players physically peaking around Thanksgiving.
Nash said Patricia puts a premium on strength. Asked the team's strongest player, Nash named defensive linemen Rickey Jean Francois and A'Shawn Robinson and last year's first-round draft pick, guard Frank Ragnow.