Justin Rogers, Bob Wojnowski and Jhon Niyo discuss Bob Quinn’s end-of-the-year news conference.
Justin Rogers, The Detroit News

Here are highlights from the season-ending news conference Friday by Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn.

Did Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia misjudged the transition that would take place with a new coach?

“I think change is difficult for everybody.”

Says that if somebody changes media outlets, the job will change. 

“That’s what this league is all about — being able to adapt.”

Quinn says the amount of change in this league is “crazy.”

“I think the players did a great job of buying in … it was different, it was.”

Quinn says that the NFL changes whether you change head coaches or not.

“The players that are here, they understand … that we need to do things better.”

Quinn does not doubt buy-in by the players.

On if he ranks his team with the divisional teams

“It’s part of it. It’s not the whole thing.”

On if he understands the fans’ problems with Matthew Stafford

“I understand the outside perception.”

Quinn says that he sees Stafford’s car here early every day, knows what he does every day.

Quinn says that Stafford doesn’t make a big deal out of changes, like the drop-off in receiving talent. 

“From the second day Bruce Ellington was here to when he started playing … Matthew Stafford spent time before practice, after practice and extra time in the meeting room” getting guys ready to play.

“Matthew Stafford doesn’t care if you’re Kenny Golladay, Kerryon Johnson, Calvin Johnson, or Andy Jones.”


Lions GM Bob Quinn talks about his QB Matthew Stafford. Quinn believes Stafford can lead the Lions to the Super Bowl.
Clarence Tabb Jr., Detroit News, The Detroit News

Will Stafford be involved in the offensive coordinator search?

Quinn says he doesn’t think that Stafford will be involved in the OC search.

Quinn says he believes his team can win a Super Bowl with Stafford as his quarterback.

On how far off Quinn thinks the team is

“I’m not big on timetables,” he says.

“We want to be playing this weekend … this is a hard weekend for me.”

Says that it’s tough to watch football when he thinks he should be playing.

On a final message for fans

“I think that was a great message from T.J. (Lang) to stick with us.”

Quinn says it’s his job to fill in the pieces.

On Connor Cook

Quinn says that he tracks all the guys they practice against in joint practices.

“We do this every day of the year.”

“Connor’s a guy that we had an eye on all season.”

On T.J. Lang 

Says they have not evaluated anything with Lang.

On scouting the American Football Alliance league

Says that there are a couple players on their practice squad who are going to play in the league.

“Those guys had a chance to go play in that league, which I think is great.”

Says that if leagues like this can sustain, it can be helpful to fringe players that might have been on a practice squad, but just need more playing time.

“We’re going to scout that league.”

Quinn says he’ll send some scouts down to training camp in San Antonio.

On the possibilities of a Khalil Mack trade

“We had some conversations, yes.”


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On what he’s looking at in the draft

Quinn says there’s definitely a “defensive component” in the draft, which is very “junior heavy.”

On Marvin Jones’ restructuring his contract near trade deadline

Quinn says that he never wants to tell people he can’t do a deal because there’s no cap space.

He wanted to restructure Jones’ contract just in case a trade went down.

On the draft

Says that drafting high doesn’t change too much except widen the pool.

Evaluation process is still pretty much the same.

Hasn’t gotten any trade offers for the No. 8 pick yet.

On Ziggy Ansah

Quinn says that he doesn’t know where Ziggy will end up.

“Ziggy fought through some things this year,” is extremely tough, and he’s proud that Ziggy is a Detroit Lion.

On what this offseason will look like

Always about 45 percent change in personnel.

“i have to have a long-term view on this.”

Says that guys who are the most productive players on defense, Damon Harrison and Romeo Okwara, weren’t even here in training camp. “We do this every day all year long.”

Quinn says that any time a player is available, they’ll look at it.

“We might, we might not,” Quinn says about whether he’ll make a splash signing in free agency.

“I’m not into splash signings … I like good football players,” he says, noting the Lions have more cap space.

“Like we talk about the tight ends … sometimes you go after somebody and you don’t get them.”

Quinn says that they’re aggressive in the way they evaluate players.

On Teez Tabor

“I think Teez is still developing,” but hasn’t played as well as Quinn had hoped.

“I think there’s still upside there,” and that he’s had a great attitude all season.

On the defensive additions

Damon Harrison was a great addition, he said.

“If you look at it, the Giants were going through a bit of a scheme change.”

Quinn says that Harrison can play in any scheme, and that the trade was finished in a matter of hours.

“That solidified our run defense,” and “helped the team kind of settle down,” Quinn says.

Says that A’Shawn Robinson had a good year and Jarrad Davis expanded his skill set. 

On personnel decisions

Quinn says that he never wants to give coaches a player that they don’t want. 

Quinn says that in the NFL, bad personnel decisions end up being ones where the coaches and players aren’t on the same page.

On how this team is better than when he took over

“Much more physical,” Quinn says.

That shows up in the run game. Notable ways are the offensive line/running game, as well as the front seven that’s helped stop the run.

On the offensive coordinator hire

Quinn says that Patricia will have the biggest role in hiring a new offensive coordinator.

Quinn says that he wants to have a “balanced attack,” doesn’t want to be in the shotgun and throw it 40 times a game.

“We need to do a better job of going into each week, looking at the opponent, and saying: How are we going to beat this team?”

“We want someone that thinks that way,” has an adaptable mind based on personnel and opponent.

Quinn says that despite the lack of talent in Week 17 the Lions had one of their best offensive performances.

On Kerryon Johnson

Quinn says that he saw Kerryon Johnson yesterday and he looks great.

“I don’t care what body type … it’s a hard position to play.”

Quinn says that a majority of rookies are instructed to improve their body because of the reps and physicality of the NFL.

On the tight end situation

“I wouldn’t say miscalculation.”

Quinn says that he looked at a ton of different options. 

“The Rob Gronkowski thing is well documented.”

“I’m glad for Eric Ebron. He’s a great person.”

On his relationship with Patricia

Quinn calls Patricia “very self aware.”

“I’m going to look in the mirror and see what I can do better,” Quinn says.

Quinn says that the teams will be looking for new answers, not old ones.

Quinn says he and Patricia have a great relationship.

Have you thought about speaking publicly more often?

“I’m aware of that,” Quinn says, but that he’s been consistent with letting his coaches talk during the season while taking a backseat.

“I’m behind the scenes.”

Was there any consideration of letting Patricia go before the sexual assault allegation story broke?

“There was not.”

On why he would trade Golden Tate if he wanted to win now

Says that he has to have a long-term outlook. A few teams contacted him in August, he said, but the offers were “insulting.”

Quinn says that nobody came calling until the day before the trade deadline, and that the final offer from Philadelphia was far more than what it was in the morning.

“I just gotta do what’s best for the team at that point.”

“I’ll never underestimate what Golden brought to this team,” Quinn says.

When did he know about Matt Patricia’s sexual assault allegations?

Quinn says he found out a few days beforehand.

Says he won’t deal in hypotheticals regarding whether Patricia would be his coaching hire if he knew about the allegations beforehand.

Quinn says that he’s not paid to do extensive background checks.

Quinn says that the allegations didn’t really have an effect in the locker room.

What are the Lions’ needs?

“More playmakers” is what the Lions need, Quinn says.

Quinn adds that he’s going to give the assistants some time off, and then they’ll do an evaluation of everyone on the team.

“That’s when we really start fine-tuning those needs.”

Are you OK with taking a step back record-wise?

“That’s not how I’m wired.”

Quinn says his goal is always to play into late January. He never wants to go one step back to go two steps forward.

On Stafford’s down year

“His contract is what it is … Matthew Stafford holds himself accountable at a very high level.”

“That resonates with his teammates, that resonates with the staff.”

“We went through a rough stretch in the middle of the season. There’s no question.”

Quinn says that injuries and the defense/special teams putting the team in bad positions during that stretch is where some of the blame can be shared.

On Matthew Stafford

“Matthew Stafford’s our quarterback. He will be our quarterback here.”

Says that the coaches need to put him in better situations to use his talent.

“He sets a great example for all of our players and really all of our staff.”

“He went through numerous things where he wanted to play through it.”

Quinn says that the one thing he will never question about Stafford is how much he loves football.

Quinn makes clear that he is not open to trading Matthew Stafford.

Quinn says that a good running game is “what lasts over the long haul,” and therefore the reliance on that is what contributed to his down year.

Bob Quinn opening statement

“Disappointing season for us overall on the whole.” Says a lot of people had high expectations in the front office and notes that a lot of the games were close.

“Our record is what it is.”

“If we’re not playing this weekend we can’t get to our ultimate goal … I’m sitting up here in the same boat as I was last year.”

Quinn says that he holds himself responsible for the team he assembled.

“I don’t take this responsibility lightly … This was the second year of my career that I didn’t have more wins than losses.”

“In the end I think we lack consistency,” cites the Lions’ inability to win back-to-back games.

Quinn says that he and head coach Matt Patricia are in the process of evaluating everything throughout the organization.

“Obviously we have some coaching needs.”

Quinn says that his team fought through adversity, and he was very proud of the way his team showed up in Green Bay despite not “having anything to play for.”

Quinn says that when they had good weeks is when they showed up on Sundays, “and hopefully a lot more going forward.”

Quinn thanks the fans for their support on the road and at home.


Justin Rogers’ 2018 Detroit Lions final grades

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Lions’ Zenner will rest body, not mind to start offseason

Early look at potential offensive coordinator candidates for Lions