The Lions have hired Bob Quinn as their new General Manager. Quinn is a former Patriot’s scout and pro personnel man. Quinn will be in charge of player personnel, the salary cap and contract negotiations. This is different from the previous regime which had Martin Mayhew in charge of player personnel and Tom Lewand in charge of the salary cap and negotiations. The Lions’ GM search was led by former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi along with new Lions President Rod Wood and owner, Martha Ford.
Coming into New England, Quinn had no NFL experience. Quinn graduated from the University of Connecticut and Quinn served his time as a graduate assistant for the Huskies for the following two years while he earned his master’s degree in sports management. That was all it took for Quinn to make the jump to the big leagues.
As to be expected, there isn’t a lot of information out there about the inner-goings of the Patriots’ front office and what role Quinn has played. That being said, here is the progression of Quinn’s titles within the organization:
- 2000-2001: Player personnel assistant
- 2002-2003: Pro scout
- 2004-2007: Regional scout
- 2008: National scout
- 2009-2011: Assistant director of pro personnel
- 2012-2015: Director of pro scouting
Accorsi said there was amazing interest in the Lions GM job. The Lions whittled it down to four and were spurned by two candidates that remained with their teams. The Lions interviewed Quinn twice, Kevin Abrams and interim GM Sheldon White. The Lions requested an interview with Trent Kirchner from Seattle but never had a formal interview.
The Patriots Tree
Many give all the success in New England to Bill Belichick. He is a great coach and talent evaluator but everyone needs help along the way. Quinn has been one of the few people in the draft room with Belichick and Quinn is known to have a great eye for talent.
Other Patriot coaches and GMs have failed and others have had some success. Thomas Dimitroff had success his first five years in Atlanta despite the last three. Pioli had a terrible record with the Chiefs but drafted many important players on that top 5 Kansas City defense (Eric Berry, Justin Houston, Allen Bailey, Dontre Poe).
Accorsi said “first thought after talking to Quinn was now I see why Patriots don’t just win, they dominate.” Quinn was well prepared and has a great eye for talent.
Bill Belichick on Lions GM candidate Bob Quinn (director of pro personnel): “number of responsibilities – pro, college, advance. Real solid job.” Belichick is a man of few words.
Former Cowboys VP Gil Brandt on Quinn. “There’s nobody close to this guy as far as knowledge and ability to evaluate. He understands analytics, he understands the salary cap, and this guy, to me, is a superior evaluator of people and players.”
Quinn’s introductory press conference is at 2 PM today. Quinn has some work to do taking over a 7-9 team. His first order of business will be making a decision on the current coaching staff and head coach Jim Caldwell.
This is the first time the Lions organization have looked outside its own organization and plucked a personnel man from another team. Russ Thomas (1960s-1989), Chuck Schmidt (1990-2000) and Martin Mayhew (2009-2015) were all home-grown. The incompetent Matt Millen (2001-2008) was a former player and broadcaster with no personnel experience. It will be nice to have fresh eyes on the talent in Detroit.
Hopefully, Quinn can build on the building blocks Mayhew has created. Quinn will have plenty of cap space (25 million or more), extra draft picks (10 total) and considerable talent to begin the quest for the Lions to dominate.