Lions general manager Bob Quinn, head coach Matt Patricia and team president Rod Wood all spoke to the media this week in Orlando at the NFL annual meetings. Here's what they had to say.
Quinn was asked about his moves in free agency, and how he thinks the roster has improved.
"I think with the type of players that Matt (Patricia) wants to play with on the defensive side of the ball, I think we're more physical," Quinn said. "I think we're going to be better against the run, I think we're going to be hopefully more disciplined, be able to rush the passer at different levels, whether that's coming off the edge or using the linebackers to rush the passer, and I think overall we're a better team all the way around."
Quinn will have another chance to improve the roster with the upcoming NFL Draft. The Lions currently have six picks, but Quinn is open to acquiring more.
"That's something that will definitely be in the talks I'd say, a week or two leading up to the draft," he said. "Try to get more picks, but it's easier said than done. Sometime those things really can't happen until draft day or draft weekend. But we'll have conversations leading up to it. The more the better."
Patricia still didn't give much away about the schemes he plans to implement in Detroit, but he did say coordinator Paul Pasqualoni will be calling the defense.
"The good thing about coach Pasqualoni is obviously I worked for him for a time at Syracuse," Patricia said. "Then when he left Syracuse he worked in a very familiar system working for coach (Bill) Parcells (for the Dallas Cowboys). The avenue he took was very similar from a fundamentals standpoint, so there's a lot of things we already just have a common ground from that standpoint.
"There might be some scheme questions and things I've done in the past that he'll ask, or we'll have to go over, but from that standpoint I'm real confident and I hired him to do that."
Patricia also touched on free agency, saying how excited he is to have running back LeGarrette Blount in Detroit.
"He's just a great person to be around," Patricia said of Blount. "This is a long, hard season, it's a grind, it's always good to have that guy that can walk into the building and kind of make everybody just pick back up for a second or two before you go back to work. He's great about all that stuff.
"Someone that brings a huge sense of culture and personality and toughness and just everything you want from a big back."
Wood answered questions on the Lions 2018 schedule. He said he didn't have too many requests for the schedule makers this year, other than a recommendation for the west coast trips.
"We have the two west coast game this year, so if it works out, we might stay out there if they're back to back," he said. "It's a possibility. "We wouldn't probably do that if they were scheduled back to back too early in the year, because it's kind of too close to training camp. But if we could get those in the second half of the season and they were back to back we might stay out there and have kind of a midseason mini training camp.
"We asked if they were to be scheduled back to back that they try to do it in the second half of the year and if they're not going to be back to back I guess we don't really care, we'll just do two trips at that point."
Wood also gave updates on a few off-the-field items, including the Lions' interest in hosting upcoming events. The team plans to be a part of the next bidding process for both the NFL Draft and Final Four.
FREE AGENCY ROLLS ON
The Lions continued to add to their roster this week with the signing of three unrestricted free agents - Linebacker Jonathan Freeny, center Wesley Johnson and tight end Levine Toilolo.
The Toilolo signing came two days after Patricia identified tight end as a position of need for his team. Both Toilolo and fellow free agent signee Luke Willson will help fill the void left by Eric Ebron's release earlier this offseason.
MEET THE PROSPECT
Each week on Detroitlions.com, Tim Twentyman will be taking a closer look at three draft prospects that could interest the Lions. Check out this week's below:
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