LIONS INSIDER

KEY QUESTIONS: Why did Quinn make a coaching change?

Posted Jan 1, 2018

Tim Twentyman covers all the key questions from general manager Bob Quinn's press conference.

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn spoke to the media Monday after relieving head coach Jim Caldwell of his coaching duties. Quinn talked about that decision, his expectations moving forward, what he's looking for in a new coach and a number of other issues pertaining to this football team.

Here are the key questions from that media session:

Why was Jim Caldwell let go? 

“I feel like there was a need in change of the leadership of this team,” Quinn said. “Starting today, I’ll be leading that search to hire a new head coach for the Lions.”

Quinn complimented Caldwell on his dedication to the job and work ethic over the last four years, and said Caldwell taught him a lot as a first-time general manager, but in the end, there weren't enough wins on the resume.

Quinn said he came to final conclusion to move on from Caldwell Sunday night in an attempt to move the team “to the next level.”

What does the taking the team to the next level entail?

The bar has been raised in Detroit, and the expectations are high -- Monday’s coaching change is proof of the that.

“To me, that’s winning championships,” Quinn said. “That’s winning playoff games and winning the Super Bowl.”

Quinn said going 9-7 two straight years and losing a playoff game (in 2016) isn’t acceptable. His standards and those of the Ford Family are higher than that.

Specifically, Quinn said the Lions have to be better against the NFL’s elite teams. Caldwell won just four games vs. opponents with a winning record in Detroit.

What is he looking for in a new head coach?

First off, there is no timetable on the search, and Quinn said he will interview multiple candidates. The Lions plan to let the public know who was interviewed after each interview takes place.

Quinn is looking for the best coach that will allow Detroit to win a championship. It doesn’t matter to him if he’s an offensive or defensive-minded coach. He also said the most important relationship within the building is the one between the general manager and the head coach, so the search will be thourough.

“When you look at the head coaches that are hired in this league, they come in all shapes and sizes,” he said. “I’m going out to find the best coach.”

Quinn said leadership, situational football and a willingness to adjust and adapt scheme to players are some of the traits he’s looking for.

Will the new head coach have complete autonomy over his staff?

The short answer is yes.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw public support in favor of continuing to work with offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, but Quinn said the new head coach will have complete control over hiring and building his own staff.

What can Quinn sell about this organization and this team to potential candidates?

There’s always competition around the league in these coaching searches.

“I think we have a lot to offer,” Quinn said. “I think we have great ownership. I think we have great resources. We have a tremendous fan base.

“I think we have a really good solid nucleus of players that can kind of be molded into what the new head coach wants his team to look like.”

What does Quinn view as the strengths and weaknesses on this team right now?

“I think strengths-wise, we have a lot of good skills players on offense,” he said. “A really good quarterback. We have good personnel on the offensive line.

“I think on defense we need to add some pieces.”

Quinn admitted that the personnel wasn’t perfect this season. He took ownership of the 9-7 record along with the coaching staff.

He said young players need to continue to grow and not get stagnant, and player development is a big thing for this team moving forward.