Detroit Lions owner Sheila Ford-Hamp confirmed the firings of Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn in a Saturday Afternoon press conference.
Everyone knew that it was bound to happen at some point. It was only a matter of WHEN it would happen, never IF it would. An hour before a 4 PM press conference, the Detroit Lions fired head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn. After an embarrassing 41-25 Thanksgiving Day loss to the Houston Texans, and a 20-0 shutout loss to the Carolina Panthers, speculation grew on much longer both would keep their jobs.
During the press conference, Ford-Hamp said quite a bit. Here are some key takeaways from Ford-Hamp’s remarks.:
- Ford-Hamp cited the recent string of losses (Panthers and Texans) as the final straw in her decision to move forward. She stated that the team’s path was not going in a direction she liked. “Clearly, the last couple of weeks had a lot to do with it.”
- Regarding the upcoming coaching and general manager search: “I promise you we are going to do a thorough and comprehensive process.” She did not rule out hiring a search firm for the next head coach and general manager. Will not rule out that a coach from the college ranks could be in consideration.
- She did not shy away from the team’s past of being good historically. She stated that she wants to do right by the organization. And that the bottom line is now the time for a change. Additionally, she stated that there would not be changes to the role of team president Rod Wood. However, she did say there will be an organizational shift within their current structure.
- When she spoke on past failures of the team: “Mistakes have been made. I’ll be the first to admit when I’m making mistakes. I’ll look at that, but I’d like to move forward.”
- Whether the organization considered the decision to fire Quinn-Patricia to be a package deal: “We looked at it from all angles.”
What is next for Detroit Lions fans?
Sheila Ford-Hamp openly admitted that she did not have all of the answers at the current time.
And honestly, that should not alarm fans. If anything, it should be music to the ears. Outside of that one quote, Ford-Hamp delivered the accountability for past failures that Lions fans desired.
So what’s next is the big question.
For one, in so many words, she didn’t rule out that the team could move in a different direction with the quarterback position. Matthew Stafford has led the Lions for over a decade, but the returns are minimal in winning football. Instead of saying that the Lions will commit to Stafford long-term, she said that would be the next head coach’s decision.
“Well, since I’m not the coach, I’m probably not the right person to ask that question to. So, we’ll see what the new coach has to say.”
Nothing is off the table for the Lions organization to improve. It’s a point Ford-Hamp alluded to several times during the presser regarding getting the organization on track.
While Ford-Hamp said quite a bit, she stood her ground on one sentiment. She decided to keep Patricia as a coach for a third year because she hoped that the team would come together at some point. The moment it became evident that they would not, she pulled the plug. Instead of waiting until the end of the season, she wanted to jumpstart the transition into a new chapter.
Whether fans love the Ford family or not, they are the heroes in the state of Michigan, even if it is only for a moment.