By Adeel Ansari (’21)
It is not even a surprise at this point… Once again, the Lions have a losing record and fingers are pointing all over the organization. Whether it be people holding up signs at games pressuring Martha Ford to sell the team, calls for a brand-new head coach, or requests for rebuilding the team, nobody is happy with the Lions. One thing is clear: the Detroit Lions need to change before it is too late.
One problem that many fans have is with the general manager, Bob Quinn. He started off his career as an assistant coach for the successful New England Patriots. In 2012, he came over to the Lions as the director of pro-scouting, and was finally made general manager of the team in 2016. As general manager, he made several poor decisions, especially regarding draft picks. The most notable one was drafting tight end T.J Hockenson in the first round of the 2018 draft. Drafting a tight end that early is almost unheard of, so everybody was expecting Hockenson to be the next Gronkowski. He ended up getting a concussion and was placed on injured reserve in week 4. Bob Quinn has not been able to draft one player worth keeping, and it is holding the Lions back from rebuilding and working towards their future.
Another problem with the management of the Lions is the owner of the team, Martha Firestone Ford. The team originally belonged to her husband, but in 2014, the ownership of the team was passed on to her. She has not been the best, and missed out on a lot of potential opportunities to put the Lions on top, especially during this 2018-2019 season. She signed off on the previous T.J Hockenson pick up, failed to sign Antonio Brown as a free agent, traded Quandre Diggs, thus ruining our defense, did not pick up Jadaveon Clowney as a free agent, and much more. She has failed to make moves that have the potential to finally give this team, that has not had a playoff win in 27 years, some momentum moving forward. In fact, there have been rumors that she is doing such a bad job that Jeff Bezos might buy the team from her to save Detroit.
Arguably the weakest link of the Detroit Lions is their head coach Matt Patricia. Patricia was also a part of the New England Patriots but played a much bigger role than Bob Quinn. Patricia was the defensive coordinator for the Patriots, and helped lead them to win an impressive three Super Bowls. In 2016, he was the coordinator whose defense allowed the fewest points in the NFL. Therefore in 2018, when Patricia took over as the Detroit Lions head coach, everybody expected him to lead the Lions to a playoff win and improve their already formidable defense. However, Patricia lost his first two games, against the Jets and the 49ers, which was very surprising because both teams had a terrible season. In addition to these losses, he also managed to make the Lions’ defense worse than it was originally. This confused many as the main reason for bringing him in was because he was such a good defensive coordinator. And to top it all off, he was starting the star quarterback Matthew Stafford even though he had a major back injury and there was no way they were going to the playoffs. As a result, Stafford’s injury worsened and he is currently on injured reserve. The Lions are 3-10-1, and management is still not willing to change up the staff.
All in all, there is no way that there is just one person responsible for this mess that is the Detroit Lions. However, it is clear that it is because of the management. The Lions roster is filled with superstars. Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr, Darius Slay, and Matt Prater, to name a few. Having so many good players and still losing is inexcusable, and somebody must be held responsible. Whether it be Martha Ford, Bob Quinn, or Matt Patricia, the problem lies with the management of the team and not the players. Although the Lions will not be replacing their head coach, a lot of teams are firing their head coaches and replacing them, and the Lions should be one of them. As a result, once more, Patricia will have a chance to prove himself next year to all of the doubters.