Lions Fire Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia

Two days after the Lions endured a Thanksgiving blowout loss, they are making major changes. The organization announced the firings of Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn on Saturday. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will take over as interim head coach, Ian Rapoport of tweets. This will be Bevell’s first HC opportunity.

This move is certainly not unexpected, with the Lions on track to miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season. Ownership gave Quinn and Patricia a playoffs-or-bust-themed directive for 2020. After being routed by the Panthers and Texans over the past two weeks, the Lions are well off course.

Patricia’s ouster marks a second former Bill Belichick assistant to be fired in-season. Patricia coached against interim Texans HC Romeo Crennel on Thursday, doing so weeks after Houston canned Bill O’Brien. Patricia did not come especially close to achieving the kind of success O’Brien did and will not finish his third season. The former Patriots DC’s Lions tenure will wrap with a 13-29-1 record.

Quinn determined Jim Caldwell‘s back-to-back 9-7 seasons were not worthy of a fifth year, leading to the former Pats executive bringing in his former coworker. Although the Lions’ swoon last season could be attributed to Matthew Stafford‘s midseason injury, they have no such excuse this year. Stafford has started throughout, and the Lions will enter Week 13 at 4-7. Since Patricia’s hire, the Lions have blown an NFL-most 18 fourth-quarter leads, as Ed Werder of notes (via Twitter).

While Caldwell’s Lions could not build on their 11-5 2014 season, Patricia’s teams did not come close to a worthwhile follow-up effort. The longtime NFL defensive coach has seen his third Detroit defense drop to 30th in points allowed. The regression was not especially steep, with the Lions ranking 28th in defensive DVOA in 2018 and ’19.

Quinn’s firing makes for an interesting NFL GM landscape. Three jobs — in Atlanta, Detroit and Houston — are available before December. Quinn took over for Martin Mayhew in 2016; the Lions did not win 10 games in a season during his tenure.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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63 comments on “Lions Fire Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia

  1. ron swanson

    Who’s turn is it to fail in Detroit now? It’s a cursed franchise, no one will succeed there.

    • davidkaner

      The Lions will find something shiny & new. Ozzie Newsome or Tony Dungy would be my first calls.

      • I mean they give Stafford 1 receiver this year and he’s out every other game, I feel so bad for him, Patricia needed more time to fill the defense with man coverage players, I really think Quinn is the weaker link of the 2, hopefully they finally get stafford a full compliment of weapons instead of only Calvin Johnson and then only Kenny Golladay(st Rita alum)

    • QuantomofFandom

      The Lions next head coach will be Marvin Lewis. He checks all the boxes, experience, makes the playoffs, none controversial. Granted, he does not win playoff games, but neither do the Lions. See perfect fit.

  2. hurricanewar23

    Good job lions! Hire someone who can actually change things…..highly doubtful but we will see

    • davidkaner

      No one thought the Ford/Firestone would fire both but she did. Let’s see what happens before being critical.

      • QuantomofFandom

        50+ years of Ford Family ownership. You do realize they are the WOAT. The worst of all time when it comes to being NFL owners.

  3. letmeclearmythroat74

    Marvin Lewis just hopped a flight to Detroit ! He’s fit in nicely there !

  4. thebluemeanie

    It is about damn time! These moves were long overdue. Is Jim Caldwell still available?


    Oh oh Jim Harbargh might resign from Michigan to take the Lions head coaching job

  6. MoneyBallJustWorks

    One embarrassing coach down from Thanksgiving. one more to go. Jerry, it’s your move!

    • phenomenalajs

      Nah, he’ll make it through the season. He would’ve been fired week 2 or 3 if that was the plan. Woody Johnson should be free in about seven weeks to take over from his brother, Chris – they’re both awful at running the franchise – but they’ll probably leave the decision in Joe Douglas’s hands.

  7. jay13

    I am hoping for a Eliot Wolf hiring. I think he deserves to run the show for someone, why not Detroit. I know he is in New England and we already failed in that cubbard. However, he was with Cleveland and Green Bay longer.

    I will see what happens. Definitely needed to be done. Stagnant 3 years

  8. GoLandCrabs

    Lions drafting Okudah over Tua is enough to get the GM fired right there.

    • Dalton1017

      Stafford is still good and Okudah has a ton of talent. he having a rough year but you need a decent pass rush for any corner to be good

      • GoLandCrabs

        Stafford is beyond stale. He has 2 years left in Detroit at most. Chiefs had a better QB in Alex Smith and that didn’t stop them from drafting a QB.

        • Appalachian_Outlaw

          Stafford is only 32 and he has some good football left in him. When you have a quality QB, you don’t draft another one. It’s a waste of a pick. Sure the Chiefs did it with Smith, but Smith is more of an okay-type QB who holds down the fort. Matt Stafford is a top 12 QB, maybe top 10.

          I’m not incredibly versed in what the Lions team needs were at the time, but I believe they didn’t have a starting CB on the roster? The defense was terrible.

    • Okudah was very highly touted and almost no one knocked that pick at the time. If he’s played poorly at all, I would chalk that up to the coaching.

      Also, it’s waaay too early to judge Tua at all. If they could redraft today, I doubt it would go much different 1-5 (Giants would probably take Becton, but imo it would otherwise be the same).

        • No, there weren’t. This is pure revisionism. Most mock drafts had Okudah at #3 to the Lions and virtually none had him going past 5 or 6.

          You’re either lying or don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.

            • Michael Chaney

              The pick hasn’t worked out so far, but to go from “many people” questioning it to just Walter Football is a big leap.

              Also, I think Walter Football is pretty much Wikipedia for the draft; a decent source to brush up with, but not really one to take overly seriously.

              • TheChampIsHere

                Just because he was mocked at 3, doesn’t mean it wasn’t heavily scrutinized at the time. We all thought BQ was gonna draft him there, but again, it was the first DB picked in the tip 3 in 23 years. It was definitely scrutinized and should’ve been

                • It was not ‘definitely scrutinized’. It was barely scrutinized by anyone. Actually read the mock drafts; they all loved the pick and loved Okudah. Virtually every single draft expert had Okudah as the second best defender in the entire draft behind Young.

                  You have no idea what you’re talking about. Okudah was near-universally loved as a perfect fit for the Lions.

                  • I’m belaboring the point, but to call Okudah ‘heavily scrutinized’ is insane and pure revisionism:

           Lions draft class was the 8th best in the league, Okudah the ‘right player’
                    link to

                    -Bleacher Report: ‘The Ohio State corner was the no-brainer best player at his position in this class and has all the makings of a shutdown corner.’
                    link to

                    -Sporting News: ‘Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia started with a bang in Okudah,’
                    link to

                    -SI compared him to Stephon Gilmore and gave the draft class an A
                    link to

                    Do I need to keep going? Simply baffling.

                  • dugdog83

                    Your wrong.

                    Who are your people who say universally loved? Only mainstream media wanted that pick. Locals and 97.1 was full of haters BEFORE the pick, hosts and callers.

                    No mock drafts say “I hate this pick. Terrible move if they take him at 3.” It’s all fluff man, don’t get caught up.

                    Even if Okudah was playing great this year, not taking another position cost Detroit another 5 years.

                  • TheChampIsHere

                    Taking a CB in the top 3 will always be heavily scrutinized, as winning teams realize that’s now how you spend your high draft capital. As winning teams also don’t select TEs in the top 10. BQ showed his cards and that’s why no one was willing to trade up. He literally made the two biggest first round draft blunders a GM can. Mock drafts loved the pick, because they got the best DB in the draft and we needed secondary help. You legit are acting like ‘mock drafts’ have any insight on these things work.

      • dugdog83

        Everyone knocked that pick at the time. You must not be from Michigan.

        Terrible pick at the time with those QBs on the board. Even Derrick Brown.

        A CB from the Big Ten? Gross they don’t play enough pro talent

    • afsooner02

      What’s Tua done to be worthy of anything? You could say Hebert. At least he’s looked good. Tua already got benched.

  9. crosseyedlemon

    Quinn probably sealed his fate when he brought in Adrian Peterson to take a crack at Barry Sanders rush yardage record.

  10. JJB0811

    So they’ll trade 7 figure salaries to go back to NE for high 6 figure ones. They aren’t upset.

  11. SportsConversationOnly

    Lions under Jim Caldwell (2014-2017):

    36-28, 2 playoff appearances

    Lions under Matt Patricia (2018-2020):

    13-29-1, 0 playoff appearances

    Agreed. Never should have fired Jim Caldwell

  12. case7187

    Hopefully the pats don’t bring him back as DC even though they don’t technically have one

    • driftcat28

      I’d actually like to see this. I think Patricia would be a welcome addition

  13. Now we’ll never know where Matt hides the notebook that he needs the pencil for.

  14. hersch

    Stafford reminds me of Rivers. They’ve both had plenty of offensive weapons during their careers but unfortunately neither one of them is a winner. Too many turnovers. But for some reason they never get the blame.

    • fishy2022

      Rivers actually had a run game. (LT, Gordon, etc.) Stafford never had a run game, ever.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      Stafford had Megatron, which was an all-time great weapon. I wouldn’t call that ‘plenty’ though. He’s never had a RB of note. After CJ he’s had some decent WR, but never a game-changer type. I can’t think of a notable TE they’ve had in Detroit, however I will admit one could be slipping my mind.

  15. markdavisbarber

    I think that one of the teams looking for a GM/HC change needs to look at Mike Borgonzi and Eric Bieniemy….

    Mike has identified and brought in a boat load of, rich keep getting richer, talent in KC. That talent clearly works well with Eric system.

  16. tigerdoc616

    If I am Stafford, I would ask for a trade. 32 years old and 3 years left on my contract. Another coach, another offense, another rebuild. Time is getting short to play for a winner. And the Lions will never will win as long as the Ford family owns the team. They won’t see either, despite the pleas of fans. Too much money in it for them and their auto company being associated with the NFL.

    • crosseyedlemon

      There was plenty of trade speculation before the most recent draft and Matt made it very clear he has no interest in playing for another team. He’ll retire a Lion.

  17. alproof

    Borgonzi & Saleh. Imbecilic Quinn should have traded slightly down before draft—Stafford could have gone for picks incl new QB, Okudah, and another stud. Need all new coaches, incl big-time HC. Saleh’s the man.

  18. jay13

    Funny hearing all this Stafford trade talk. What has he done to deserve it. The guy shows up and plays every game. He has never had a running game. His weapons overall have been subpar. Stafford is not the problem. Building a good offensive line and defensive line has been the problem. Doesn’t matter how good your QB is if you can’t give him time to find the open reciever or give him a break with a running game.

    As for the Okudah pick, he was the best player for the needs at that position. All the people hating him after year 1 is comical. He will turn into the shutdown corner 95 percent of the world saw while he was at Ohio State. I would be more worried about Trey Flowers. A lot of money tied up for limited production.

  19. Stafford still had big $$ impact to Lions on the contract prior to 2020 season. If you want to get value, you need at least 2 interested teams to create value. Otherwise it’s a player dump for a 3rd Round or later.

    This coming off season, which has apparently already begun, its a $13M Dead Cap with a $20M cap savings on trade or cut after June 1st.

    Base salary is low, with no salary guarantees left. This is the designed point in the contract to move on from him.

    The Lions are and will continue to be a dumpster fire with our without Stafford. They have shining moments of great players i.e. Golladay, K. Johnsons, but they can’t stay healthy.

  20. hoosierhysteria

    Patricia was poor hire…Quinn hired a friend….big mistake. Patricia tried to be tough guy…not a leader of men. The patriot way used to work in foxboro…not sure it will again. Marvin Lewis is not the answer. Bienemy going to Houston…Stafford or Watson…what would you do? Kelly from ND….does he have the nfl itch? If my name was Ford….I would go get the Oklahoma coach….stir it up. Hire the GM first for chris sakes…

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