General manager Bob Quinn said last January after Detroit finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs that it wasn’t good enough.
He doubled down on those remarks Friday after the team took a step backwards this season by finishing 6-10.
“Looking at it, both seasons are disappointments because we’re not playing this weekend,” Quinn said Friday at his end of the season press conference. “And if we’re not playing this weekend, we can’t get to our ultimate goal. The win-loss record is what it is, but really I’m sitting up here in the same boat I was last year, with a couple less wins.”
Quinn admitted he had high expectations for this season after hiring Matt Patricia to be his head coach and lead a roster he expected to be capable of winning more games. He took accountability for that not happening.
He was also steadfast in his belief that there are players to build on and a foundation has been laid for this team to be more successful moving forward, and in his ability to help lead it to where it wants to go.
“I’m determined to make this team better and I will,” he said. “That’s something I’m confident in. I know what this team needs and I think in the coming months we’ll fine-tune those needs with what’s available in the draft and free agency and all the different aspects of the way we can acquire talent.”
Solidifying the coaching staff with the hiring of a new offensive coordinator is the first step. Then it’s taking a fine-tooth comb over the entire football operation and finding ways to improve it.
“Those are things that coach and I are going to look back and evaluate over the next coming months and make sure we have a better team moving forward,” he said. “I don’t take this responsibility lightly. The season was trying because you don’t win.”
This is only the second season in Quinn’s career he was part of a team that didn’t win more games than it lost. It was a hard year, no doubt, and one Quinn is highly motivated to never repeat again.
There’s a fine line between winning and losing in the NFL, and more often than not the Lions found ways to lose games instead of win them. That lack of consistency was a root of the disappointment for Quinn. Detroit didn’t win back-to-back games all season.
He talked about the need for the team have more playmakers on both sides of the ball, and to have a fundamental understanding that every practice matters, that stringing good practices together during the week means playing better on Sunday. Doing that consistently strings wins together. Stringing wins together leads to the playoffs.
Missing the playoffs isn’t acceptable to Quinn, whether it’s missing them at 9-7 or at 6-10.
“Coach and I are talking about everything trying to get this right,” he said. “Improve everything we do from a day-to-day operation to coaching, scheme, players, practice and meetings. You name it, we’re going to talk about it here over the next couple months and try to improve on it.”