One of the first big decisions Bob Quinn made as general manager of the Detroit Lions was to retain head coach Jim Caldwell.
After meeting with Caldwell over the course of a few days, Quinn said he came to the realization that he and Caldwell's philosophies on football matched.
It was important for Quinn to know that he and Caldwell were on the same page in terms of how to acquire players and develop them.
"To get a system in place to where he can be flexible to the players I bring in to develop them and mesh them into his offensive, defensive and special teams systems," Quinn said at the time.
It's now been 15 months, one regular season and one playoff appearance into their GM/coach affiliation, and Caldwell says he and Quinn are much closer now to speaking the same language when it comes to football.
"You see things the same way," Caldwell said of being with Quinn now for more than a year. "Last year, we didn't have nearly as much time as we did this year. Everything was new."
"This year is a bit different. I think we've had a chance to work with one another, can see and get a feel for the system Bob has but in place in terms of evaluation, how he involves everyone in our staff. It's really been just outstanding in terms of what we've been able to accomplish thus far."
Quinn came to Detroit after 16 years of terrific success in New England. He had a specific plan laid out on how he wanted to run things in Detroit, and worked quickly to implement his way of doing things.
All of the very successful franchises in the NFL have a personnel department and coaching staff that are in lock step together. Players have to fit scheme, and personnel people want to see the players they bring in develop under a coach's scheme.
Quinn had a nice draft last season with eight of the 10 players he selected making some sort of impact on the field as rookies. But that's also a credit to Caldwell and his staff for developing that talent and finding ways to utilize it within their schemes.
The process is now headlong into a second offseason and it appears everyone involved is much more comfortable with the overall process than they were this time last year.