TODAY IS Sunday February 18th
Lions introduce Patricia as head coach
Thursday Feb 08, 2018 12:00am

(ALLEN PARK) - They forged their relationship in the 12 years they spent together in New England, when they took long car rides together to evaluate draft prospects and sat in each other's office late at night discussing players. On Wednesday, Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia were reunited again, this time as Detroit Lions general manager and head coach, in a union that the long-suffering organization hopes will eventually lead it to Super Bowl-type success. Quinn and Patricia were clear at the latter's introductory news conference Wednesday that they are "not putting any timelines or timetables on when we’re going to win what." But Quinn also promised: "We have great aspirations of what we want to do in this organization." Patricia, 43, takes over a 9-7 team that narrowly missed the playoffs last season after earning a wildcard berth in 2016. He's coming off his own Super Bowl run with the Patriots, and on Wednesday he made a favorable first impression when he introduced himself to Detroit as a leader, a problem solver and someone who will represent the toughness of the city. The Lions interviewed Patricia twice, on Jan. 5 during the Patriots' first-round playoff bye and again three weeks later during their week off before the Super Bowl, and Quinn said he and Patricia are like-minded in many aspects of football. The Lions interviewed five candidates before settling on Patricia: In-house candidates Jim Bob Cooter and Teryl Austin; Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who was hired as New York Giants coach; Green Bay Packers associate head coach Winston Moss; and Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel, the runner-up to Patricia in Detroit and now the head coach of the Tennessee Titans. Patricia said Cooter will remain on staff for 2018, but he stopped short of saying Cooter will retain the offensive coordinator title that he’s had for the last 2 ½ seasons. Austin, last year’s defensive coordinator, left for the same position with the Cincinnati Bengals and was replaced by Paul Pasqualoni. Patricia said Wednesday that his defense won’t be scheme-specific and that he’ll tailor it to the players the Lions have on their current roster and the ones they add through free agency and future drafts. He also declined to say if he or Pasqualoni, his former boss at Syracuse, will handle defensive play calling.

New Lions head coach Matt Patricia (second from left) during a Wednesday news conference with GM Bob Quinn (left), owner Martha Ford (second from right) and team official Rod Wood (right) (photo courtesy of Mandi Wright/DFP)
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