Welcome to the first episode of the Trickle Down Effect, known post-hence as TDE. This being the first outing of such an endeavor, I figured I would explain what I have planned with these. If you know me, or have seen me on reddit, you know that I was not a huge fan of firing Martin Mayhew. He assembled a talented roster that had a realistic shot at playoff success. I was impressed with how he put that together after 0-16. Remember, Matthew Stafford was the only quarterback in his draft (2009) that can even be considered a moderate success. He got Suh, contract problems notwithstanding. He drafted Ansah and Levy and Slay and signed Quinn and Tate. Almost every talented piece currently on this team was a byproduct of Mayhew. So we will examine Bob Quinn from that perspective, because this is my article and I get to do what I want here.
Jim Caldwell should have been fired last year after the Green Bay fiasco. Now, yes, I understand that part of a GM’s job is to find and hire the right coach. I also believe that you can’t absolve coaches from responsibility, especially when you have one who seems to cost this team a game every single year with strange gaffs and awkward responses to normal in game situations. He seriously thought Aaron Rodgers, the best quarterback in the NFL and probably one of the top 10 QB’s of all time, couldn’t throw the ball into the end zone from midfield. Maybe he lied to the media and the Lions staff were unprepared for that type of situational football. Both are scary thoughts.
This leads me to Bob Quinn. That Quinn kept Caldwell can mean one of three things, ranked in order from least terrifying to holy shit we are in trouble:
- Caldwell seriously impressed Bob Quinn with his meeting and presentation and Quinn’s opinion of him changed.
- Quinn never seriously considered firing Caldwell this year, and wanted his staff in place in order to complete a coaching search after the season.
- The ownership instructed Bob Quinn to retain Jim Caldwell.
With number one, it would mean Caldwell was proactive about keeping his job and provided Quinn with some type of information or organizational change that would allow Quinn to be comfortable enough not to fire him right now. Number 2 would be odd, but not entirely out of place. GM’s tend to like to have complete control over a team win and loss record during their tenure. That is why new GM’s tend to broom old regime coaches. However, it would make sense as it would allow Quinn time to establish himself in the role and get a better understanding of the organizational structure.
Number three is the doomsday scenario, and that is the one that makes a disturbing amount of sense. This organization has a history of ownership meddling. If anyone remembers Joey Harrington v Mike McMahon, or any variation of Harrington v Backup quarterback, it was always rumored that the ownership could not abide by ol’ Joey sitting on the bench. He made an awful lot of money to not play football and the Fords were loyal people.
Now, WCF is at this point an angel in whatever heaven gregariously rich people go to when they die, but his wife’s extent of football experience is pretty much limited to being the wife of the guy who owned the team. If she turned around and hired a new GM with stipulations attached about retaining the coach… Guys that isn’t a good thing.
We can’t do anything but speculate about the exact reason Jim Caldwell remains on the sidelines, deadpanning his way through games. What we can do, however, is try to make a determination on whether or not the decisions Quinn has made thus far have been good . The optimistic portion of this fan-base tends to believe that new is strictly better, and that doesn’t always tend to be true with this Franchise.
(Edit 8/26/2016 12:34 – Lions signed Glover Quinn and Golden Tate in Free Agency)
Next episode: The Taylor Decker problem