Skip to main content

O'HARA: What we learned from 2019 Season Ticket Member Summit

Will Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn consider drafting a quarterback with the eighth pick in the first round? It was a good question asked by a fan at the annual Season Ticket Member Summit at Ford Field Monday evening.

Of course, Quinn will consider taking a quarterback at No. 8 – along with every position on the board.

It was a good answer, and a predictable one as we learned again that Quinn did not close the door on anything, and he also didn't reveal specific plans or strategy.

There were numerous other things we learned in the one-hour segment devoted to fans asking questions of top management – team president Rod Wood, head coach Matt Patricia and Quinn – at the annual Summit.

Among the others: What Patricia saw in Darrell Bevell's background to hire him as offensive coordinator; if the Lions will use the draft or free agency to fill needs at positions of need – tight end and receiver among the most obvious; if they considered signing running back Kareem Hunt, who signed with Cleveland on Monday, or pursue Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown; if Quinn will follow up on his postseason comments about needing to add playmakers; why Kyle Van Noy is successful with the Patriots after being traded by the Lions.

Above all, we learned that fans pay close attention to the Lions and they want answers to their questioning on everything from strategy to ticket prices.

We start with the quarterback question:

With many teams – such as the Chiefs and Rams – winning with young quarterbacks, will Quinn consider drafting a quarterback with the eighth pick in the first round?

"We'll consider any position in the draft at any point in time," Quinn said. "We're in a position with the eighth pick where the whole draft is wide open to us. We're not going to eliminate any prospects."

Bottom line: He didn't, and shouldn't, say no to drafting a quarterback. It strengthens the team's bargaining position if a team drafting behind the Lions wants to trade up to No. 8 to take a quarterback.

Surprisingly, there were no followup questions about Matthew Stafford.

Bevell, on the run: It was no surprise that Bevell's success in the run game as offensive coordinator of the Vikings and Seahawks was a primary reason the Lions hired him. Patricia wants a tougher team, and the run game is part of that on both sides of the ball – running it and stopping the run.

"We just felt a change (from Jim Bob Cooter to Bevell) was needed on the offensive side of the ball," Patricia said. "Darrell is a guy I have a lot of respect for. He coached some really good quarterbacks. I think that's a really good move for us.

"I think that'll help us push the offense into a direction where we need to be able to have a little more ball control at times. We need to understand how to play a complementary game in all three phases, which we're trying now."

Kareem Hunt: Quinn was aware of his talent – and his transgressions – and passed on signing him. That can be interpreted to mean that Quinn has a standard of acceptable conduct, and Hunt does not meet it.

Hunt was suspended by the Chiefs midseason after video surfaced of him assaulting a woman. He was out of football until signed Monday by the Browns.

"We consider everybody that's available," Quinn said. "We evaluate every player on the field and off the field. It's just a player we didn't feel comfortable bringing to the Lions for numerous issues. I stand by that. That's my word. I want good players, and I want good people in this organization."

View photos from the 2019 Detroit Lions Season Ticket Members Summit at Ford Field on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019.

Antonio Brown, off limits: The Steelers wide receiver could be on the trading block because of issues not related to his play on the field, but Quinn was bailed out about responding to a question because of league rules regarding players under contract.

"I knew this one was coming," Quinn replied good-naturedly to a fan, then citing the league policy. "Unfortunately, I can't answer that one for you. Sorry, Bud."

Playmaker search: Quinn expanded on his postseason comments when asked about adding playmakers to a defense that ranked 10th overall but had only 14 takeaways and seven interceptions. It was the second fewest in both categories.

"When you look back at the stats and how the defense played, we didn't turn the ball over as much as we would have liked," Quinn said. "We're taking a close look at the game-changing plays of the guys we're looking at in free agency and the draft.

"We want more players who take the ball away."

Kyle Van Noy: Patricia gave a stock answer regarding the linebacker drafted in the second round in 2014 who's had success since being traded to the Patriots during the 2016 season after showing little with the Lions.

Patricia handled the question diplomatically, with the experience of having coached Van Noy for two seasons as the Patriots' defensive coordinator. He spoke highly of Van Noy, but he talked mostly about players the Lions have added such as Eli Harold, Romeo Okwara and Devon Kennard. He could have included Snacks Harrison.

"Every year there are guys who move around," Patricia said. "Some of that stuff happens once in a while."

Bottom line: Coaches are more interested in players they have than ones they had.

Related Content