Bob Quinn, hired January 11, 2016 as Executive Vice President and General Manager, oversees the entire Lions' football operation and reports directly to Owner and Chairman of the Board, Martha Firestone Ford.
Bob Quinn, hired January 11, 2016 as Executive Vice President and General Manager, oversees the entire Lions’ football operation and reports directly to Owner and Chairman of the Board, Martha Firestone Ford.
During his introductory press conference in 2016, Quinn, who had spent the previous 16 seasons (2000-15) with New England, quickly set forth his vision: “Our culture will be one of great work ethic and no egos. We will create a working-class attitude throughout the organization. The city of Detroit, the state of Michigan are known for hard work. The Detroit Lions will have a culture of hard work. The auto industry is based on hard work and these fans deserve that.”
Quinn wasted no time establishing his leadership vision for the Lions as his first season in the role of a franchise’s top football executive culminated in a playoff appearance in 2016. He became the only first-year executive among nine in the NFL to accomplish this feat since the 2013 season. In doing so, Quinn also became the Lions’ first general manager to guide the team to the playoffs in his inaugural season since Nick Kerbawy in 1952.
Entering his third season in 2018, Quinn’s ongoing commitment to improve all aspects of the club’s football operations is met this year by the addition of Head Coach Matt Patricia. Patricia, who worked with Quinn for several years during their respective tenures with the New England Patriots, most recently served as the Patriots defensive coordinator from 2012-17. In Patricia’s introductory press conference, Quinn highlighted his relationship with his new head coach as one of the most important factors that will lead Detroit to success in 2018 and beyond.
Reaching the next level as an organization remains Quinn’s goal. His impact over the last three seasons has included restructuring the player personnel department and scouting evaluation processes, renovating the team’s weight room and practice fields, as well as upgrading the team’s football information and video technology. Quinn’s commitment to player development has also been showcased by the institution of a comprehensive nutritional program, which has included the hiring of a director of player performance and performance dietician for the players over the last three seasons.
The vast player personnel experience Quinn obtained with one of the most successful teams in NFL history in New England provides the foundation for his belief that successful teams are built with rosters of outstanding depth. Over the past three seasons, Quinn has adeptly utilized a myriad of player acquisition and scouting resources to upgrade the team’s roster on a daily basis.
Among the free agent talent Quinn added in 2017 included offensive line anchors T Rick Wagner and G T.J. Lang, who helped stabilize the trenches alongside 2016 first- and third-round draft picks T Taylor Decker and G Graham Glasgow. In 2016, Quinn signed WR Marvin Jones Jr., who joined WR Golden Tate in 2017 as one of only three duos in the NFL to each total 1,000-yard seasons last year. Highlighting the list of key free agent signings this season include LB Devon Kennard, RB LeGarrette Blount, LB Christian Jones and TE Luke Willson.
Quinn’s first three draft classes have featured strength up front on both sides of the ball, as well as speed in key positions. LB Jarrad Davis, the Lions’ 2017 first-round selection out of Florida, led all rookie players in total tackles last season with 96, while fifth-round pick CB Jamal Agnew led the NFL in punt return touchdowns (2) and punt return average (15.4) en route to Associated Press First Team All-Pro honors.
In 2018, the Lions once again drafted big up the middle with the first-round selection of OL Frank Ragnow out of Arkansas. Rounding out the team’s 2018 draft class includes RB Kerryon Johnson (second round, Auburn), S Tracy Walker (third round, Louisiana-Lafayette), DE Da’Shawn Hand (fourth round, Alabama), T Tyrell Crosby (fifth round, Oregon) and FB Nick Bawden (seventh round, San Diego State). With the support and like-minded football philosophy shared with Patricia, Quinn’s blueprint for establishing the Lions as a model of consistency when the games matter most is beginning to take shape.
“I think really, this game comes down to a couple things. NFL games come down to about five plays or less every week. And most of these plays are short-yardage, goal line, third down, red area, special teams. So, if you can get your team to perform better in those situational areas and you can win the majority of those four or five plays, then you’re going to have a better chance to win.”
During his time with New England, Quinn served a variety of roles in the player personnel department, including Director of Pro Scouting from 2012-15 when the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX and four-straight AFC East Division championships.
Prior to his stint as director of pro scouting, Quinn was the Patriots’ Assistant Director of Pro Personnel from 2009-12. He worked in college scouting as the team’s national scout in 2008 and as a regional scout from 2004-07. Quinn also served two seasons (2002-03) as a pro scout and two seasons (2000-01) as a player personnel assistant for the Patriots.
His tenure with the Patriots coincided with one of the most impressive stretches in NFL history—four Super Bowl titles, six AFC Championships, 13 AFC East titles, 12+ wins in a season 10 times and 10+ wins in 14 of his 16 seasons.
Including the Lions’ 2016 playoff berth, Quinn’s work in player personnel has produced 14 playoff appearances in the past 18 seasons.
Before his 16-year tenure started with the Patriots, Quinn was a graduate assistant in the athletic department at the University of Connecticut (1998-99).
A native of Norwood, Mass., Quinn earned his master’s degree in sports management from UConn in 2000 and completed his undergraduate studies at UConn in 1998. He and his family live in suburban Detroit.