Lions GM Bob Quinn has a new coach and a new contract.
Detroit announced Friday that its general manager has agreed to a contract extension, which reports indicate is through the 2022 season, matching the length of new coach Matt Patricia's five-year agreement with the club.
“The contract extension for Bob is most deserving as he continues to lead and improve our football team," president Rod Wood said in a statement. "It is also important for our entire organization to ensure stability as we move forward with Matt as our new Head Coach working in partnership with Bob. Moreover, I greatly enjoy my relationship and partnership with Bob. We both look forward to a bright future for the Detroit Lions.”
Quinn, 41, joined the Lions in 2016 and has overseen back-to-back 9-7 campaigns, the franchise's consecutive winning seasons since 2004-05. He appears to have hit on his first-round draft selections (LT Taylor Decker in 2016 and MLB Jarrad Davis last year) and has orchestrated some important in-house contract extensions, including Pro Bowlers QB Matthew Stafford, CB Darius Slay and FS Glover Quin, during his time.
"Thank you to Mrs. Ford, her family, and Rod Wood for their continued support and belief in my ability to lead this football team," Quinn said via a statement released by the Lions. "My goals and vision remain unchanged and I will continue to work diligently at improving this team and every facet of the football operation. Coach Patricia and I will always work in close concert on any and all football-related matters. That process is underway as our coaching and player personnel staffs are collectively preparing for the roster building phase of the off-season.”
Quinn, a Bill Belichick disciple who spent 15 years with the Patriots, first as a scout and then in the front office, reunites with fellow Belichick disciple Patricia, New England's longtime defensive coordinator who was introduced as a first-time head coach by the Lions earlier this week.
Quinn and former Lions coach Jim Caldwell had a two-year arranged marriage that ended Jan. 1, when Quinn relieved Caldwell following a 36-28 mark over four seasons in Motown.
Now that Quinn has his hand-picked coach and a reaffirmed commitment from Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford, his next order of business figures to be improving the NFL's worst run game and a defense that wasn't able to maintain its early-season success for the entirety of the 2017 campaign.
Before seeking a feature back and more front-seven firepower in free agency and the draft, Quinn must decide what to do with free-agent pass rusher Ezekiel Ansah. He's struggled to stay healthy since his monster 2015 campaign, but Ansah, 28, is the Lions' only fearsome havoc wreaker on a defense that ranked 23rd and 30th, respectively, in sack percentage from 2016-17.
Patricia has remained mum on specific schematic changes, but it's expected he'll dial up the aggressiveness on both sides of the ball. And with Stafford locked in for the long term, Quinn can attack other areas of the roster as he aims to guide Detroit to its first postseason win since 1991. The Lions have gone 0-8 in the playoffs during that span, including falling to the Seahawks in their first appearance under Quinn's watch two seasons ago.