Quinn talks Caldwell decision, front office changes

Posted Jan 20, 2016

Tim Twentyman covers highlights from Detroit Lions GM Bob Quinn's interview on Sirius XM Radio.

New Lions executive vice president and general manager Bob Quinn joined Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Sirius XM NFL radio Wednesday night.

The nearly 10-minute interview covered a number of topics ranging from retaining head coach Jim Caldwell, to changing the strength and conditioning staff and to the hire of Kyle O’Brien as the team’s new director of player personnel.

Here are some of the excerpts from that interview:

On retaining Caldwell as head coach:

“I came in with no preconceived notions. I didn’t know coach Caldwell personally. I didn’t know him professionally. I did my research on him through my sources in the league and got great feedback from everyone that I spoke to.

“I went into (the interview process) with an open mind. We had a series of meetings. It wasn’t just one day or one hour. It was over a couple of days and a dozen hours. Really, get to know you sessions. My philosophy and his philosophy meshed. So we could build this team.”

On meeting quarterback Matthew Stafford for the first time:

“I met Matthew (Tuesday), he was up here for about 24 hours checking on a property he has up here, and he came by the office and we chatted for a while. It was good to meet him.

On Stafford’s second half of the season:

“That’s pretty impressive. The stats - I looked at that prior to the interview and coach Jim Bob (Cooter) did a good job. I also don’t know (Cooter) that well. I met him a couple days ago. The stats speak for themselves. They finished the season 6-2, which was good, and that definitely factored into my decision making process.”

On what he learned about Caldwell:

“First off he’s a man of integrity. He’s a really, really solid guy. I could tell that very early in the process. Secondly, he’s a good coach. I think he has a wide range of experience and his ability to coach the entire team, not just one side of the ball. Was something that was really intriguing to me.”

On continuing some continuity within the organization:

“I think that was important. I think there’s obviously change in this organization with myself being in my position and Rod Wood being the new team president. We have a great working relationship between the two of us and there’s going to be change throughout the organization, but I felt like too much change is sort of a detriment to building the team.

“You have to have some stability at some level of the organization and I felt through my meetings with coach Caldwell that he brings that stability and gives us the best chance to win.”

On a new direction in the strength and conditioning department:

“That part of the team is important. It builds toughness. It builds strength. I’ve told it to many people in the last couple weeks that there are a few important rooms in the building, in any football building, and I think the strength and conditioning and the weight room is one of those important rooms.

“I think the leader of that room is a very, very important figure in the organization, because those guys spend more time with the players than really anyone else does, if you think about it. They are always down there. If they aren’t doing the lifting session they might be in there stretching. They might be in there getting a shake from the nutrition center. So, to have strong leadership in that position is very important to me.

On the hire of Kyle O’Brien as director of player personnel:

“I’ve known Kyle throughout my entire career. We started together with the Patriots. He had moved on to a couple different places the Chiefs, and more recently the Jaguars, so Kyle is a great evaluator of talent.

“He’s a highly intelligent football executive. Harvard graduate. You can’t say that about too many guys in scouting. I’ll take him on my team. He’s a great friend. I have complete trust in him. I’m going to put a lot of work on his load and I’m sure he’s going to do a great job for us.”

On what it will it take to continue to upgrade roster:

“As I’m sitting here talking to you guys I’m watching some unrestricted free agent film on a few positions here. I’m doing that this week and next week I will be down at the Senior Bowl practices for a few days.”