A lot of people this off season are screaming and crying that as ever the Detroit Lions are doing the same thing, making the same mistake, and confirming why Same Ole Lions is the mantra of this fan base. The people saying that could not be more wrong.
Let us take a minute and define what Same Ole Lions means…remember this is being written by a Lions fan of the last 27 years. I am uniquely qualified to talk about the Same Ole Lions.
For me Same Ole Lions means:
- They will lose a game they really should win
- They will lose a game in a heartbreaking way
- They will lose a game on a controversial call
- They will make a ridiculous reach in the first 2 rounds of the NFL Draft
- They hire coaches and front office personnel that are not qualified
So far, since Bob Quinn took over, the Lions have actually done the opposite of that. They have cleared house in the front office. Gotten rid of the morons who have been calling the shots. Most of those people are not well known to the average fan, but they are the reason this team has been so bad for so long. There was no accountability and some of these men have been with the team since before they drafted Barry Sanders. Think about that that dude has been retired for damn near 17 years. Those bozos are gone, and while the fans believe Quinn should have fired Head Coach Jim Caldwell getting the front office moving in the right direction was absolutely the right thing to do. This gives the new front office a season to evaluate what this team already has. A chance to add to it via free agency and the draft and to then see where everything stands.
As far as expectations for Caldwell to remain the coach past 2016 I think he needs to make the playoffs for that to even become a possibility. He would have to win a playoff game to make that move likely. A General Manager should be allowed to make two hires at head coach and it seems like a very good move for Quinn to pocket one of those and see where this team is at once he starts implementing his way of doing things. That gives him 2016 to get the scouting department and the rest of the front office moving in the right direction. If he does that right that will pay off for us, the fans, down the road. That is not to say Quinn or this organization should or has given up on 2016.
They are some issues to be worked out. The first and most important of those is what to do about Calvin Johnson. He seems like Quinn is allowing Johnson to make up his own mind…even if it appears that he would rather have the cap relief over an aging, talented, Lions legend. So far he has played this one right…players like Johnson have earned the right to exit the way they wish, and as long as his decision doesn’t drag far into the new league year Quinn can allow Johnson to chart his own course.
Quinn then has decisions to make on 16 free agents. There is no way to predict how that will go but even after the retirement of Rashean Mathis some of those free agents (or others) will become cap casualties. Quinn has already brought in OT Lamar Holmes so it seems like he knows where this roster is weakest.
For now I would say Quinn is doing what has to be done. Let us see how he handles free agency and the draft before we claim that he has become Lionized.