Bob Quinn was introduced as the new General Manager of the Detroit Lions yesterday. Now a new chapter of this team begins, and the only hope for Lions faithful is that this will be the hire that rights the ship and gets this team to a point where it can win consistently. That should be the goal over trying to win (or even appear in) a Super Bowl. If a team wins consistently those opportunities will come.
Being a fan of this team is not a lot of fun. They are the only team to go 0-16 in a season. They are the only non expansion team that has never played in a Super Bowl and for the past 15 years they have been run by two of the worst General Managers in the history of sports. They continually make mind boggling decisions like having two Tight Ends that were drafted in the first round…neither of whom are particularly that great. There are big questions surrounding the future of the Head Coach, the team’s greatest player, and Quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The good football fans of Detroit want to believe that there team is close. They did make the playoffs a season ago…however they failed to win their division when they could have and nearly 15 years into the history of Ford Field they have yet to host a home playoff game. I do not think they are very close. I think they are a lot farther away than their 7-9 record indicates.
Of the 9 loses this team had in 2015…6 of them came against teams that that made the playoffs. They had only one win against a team that finished the season with a winning record. What that says to me is they are not the worst NFL team out there but they are nowhere near ready to battle it out with the teams that win consistently.
So the question becomes how does Quinn rebuild the Detroit Lions into a team that can win consistently. Let us define consistently by setting the bar at 10 wins a season or so…6 of those wins at home…at least 5 of them against teams going to the playoffs or teams that have a winning record. How does Quinn get the team from where it is now to there?
I’m not sure blowing this up is the way to go. Matt Millen took over a team that was one field goal away from the playoffs…fired the interim Head Coach, drafted a few O lineman and then drafted what he thought was a franchise QB. That led to one of the worst runs in all of sports history and an 0-16 season. I really think that before those kind of changes need to made that the real problem with the Lions needs to be addressed, and that simply is how this team, and it’s scouting department evaluate talent. And I mean across the board from free agents, to undrafted free agents, to prospects in the NFL Draft. That needs to happen first before he starts tinkering with the more high profile changes that will eventually need to be made.
Quinn could and probably even should fire Jim Caldwell, mostly because I have zero faith that he can effectively manage a NFL game. However, if the answer is Josh McDaniels as the head coach I am not sure that is a move that works for this franchise long term. His track record as a Head Coach is not great. And let’s be real honest this move is one that Quinn has to get right. He would save himself a lot of pressure by retaining Caldwell for the 2016 season while reworking the scouting department, dealing with the Calvin Johnson situation and adding all the talent that he can for 2017. Going that route also gives him a full season to decide the future of Stafford. That is going to be a 100 million dollar decision and he cannot afford to get that one wrong either.
My point here is this…this team has been mismanaged in every way for the last 15 years (yes I know it’s longer but its these 15 years that has left the franchise in the state it is currently) no one is going to turn that around in one year. So before Quinn decides it needs to be blown up he should really take some time and see if there is a way to improve on what is already here. For me that means maybe not making big changes for 2016 so he can see exactly where his team is compared to the rest of the NFC North. Regardless of the season outcome 6-2 in the second half is hard to ignore…even though those wins came against teams that were struggling.