HOUSTON – Bob Quinn spent 16 seasons scouting, working on special projects, and eventually running New England's player personnel department under Bill Belichick's regime.
Over that time, Quinn became one of Belichick's most trusted advisors.
"I can't say enough good things about Bob and what he did for our organization and what he did for me personally," Belichick said Wednesday at the Super Bowl.
See where the Lions will play their road games during the 2017 season.
"He was always giving a good, honest opinion. It wasn't always something that we agreed on. That was healthy, because it forced me to look at things and quite often he was right in his opinion and I felt like I was wrong in mine. He gave me great direction."
Quinn left New England to become Detroit's general manager last year, and helped guide the Lions to a 9-7 season and playoff berth, something his old friends in New England took notice of.
"I think Bob did a great job this year," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. "The first year of any personnel person coming in, they have to clean out and start making their vision, and look, you folks (in Detroit) made the playoffs. I don't know how often that has happened.
"Things are only going to get better there. You have a good man. Both Tennessee (where Jon Robinson is GM after spending 12 years in New England's personnel department) and Detroit are in good hands."
In New England, Quinn had an up close vantage point of what it takes to build a winning franchise. According to Belichick, Quinn was instrumental in helping to build what the Patriots became.
Since 2000, both Quinn and Belichick's first year with New England, the Patriots won four Super Bowls, six AFC Championships, 13 AFC East titles, 12-plus games in a season 10 times and 10-plus games in 14 of the 16 seasons from 2000-2015.
"He was instrumental in putting together things we did in the personnel department," Belichick said of Quinn. "Also, on a personal basis, I asked Bob to do things. He did a great job preparing us for our upcoming opponent, or as I said, doing special projects as it relates to an opponent.
"He was very involved in our draft process and did a lot of work there on the pro end and college end. We sent him out to look at various position groups or particular guys we had questions on and Bob did a great job for us."
Quinn is hoping to build the same kind of success and consistency in Detroit.
"Our culture will be one of great work ethic and no egos," he said at his introductory press conference in Detroit last January. "We will create a working class attitude throughout the organization."
Not only did the Lions return to the playoffs in Quinn's first season on the job this past season, but his first draft class played a big role in that success, too. Detroit's rookies played 3,237 snaps. The NFL average was 2,675 snaps.
But there's still a lot of work to be done in building a roster in Detroit that can compete consistently with the two playing on Sunday for all the marbles.
"I thought we had a really productive year of building the team, building the culture that head coach Jim Caldwell and I want to create in this building," Quinn said after Detroit's playoff exit at the hands of Seattle in the Wild Card round.
"I think there's still a lot of work to do. You know, nine wins is a good season, it's not nearly good enough for what we want. The season wasn't good enough and that's the bottom line, so our goals are higher and were going to work hard to achieve those goals."