By Ashley Scoby
New Lions general manager Bob Quinn had two face-to-face interviews with the franchise this week, and those in charge of the hire knew almost immediately he would be the guy.
Ernie Accorsi, who was hired as a consultant for the search process, said that Quinn would bring a taste of the Patriot Way to Detroit. Quinn has spent nearly his entire career in New England, most recently as director of pro scouting.
Although Accorsi would not say who from the Lions’ organization sat in on Quinn’s interviews, nor how many candidates the team interviewed, he was confident in what Quinn brought to the table, coming from a winning franchise like the Patriots.
“He had a significant voice in a franchise that won (four) Super Bowls,” he said. “Their track record speaks for itself. … Talking to him as much as we did, my first reaction is, ‘now I see how they do what they do.’ They don’t just win; they dominate. They just have a philosophy and a unique way of doing things, and that’s what he’s going to bring to Detroit.”
The backing of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was crucial to Accorsi, too. Quinn has long been trusted by Belichick, and Belichick was also instrumental in allowing the Lions to speak with Quinn, even though the Patriots are still in the playoffs.
“The real audition is his (Quinn’s) body of work,” Accorsi said. “What do people think of him who have worked with him? I have a real good relationship with Bill Belichick … a long friendship and a tremendous trust in him. His word meant a lot to me.”
The specific blueprint of what the Ford family, or team president Rod Wood, wanted in a new general manager wasn’t specified, although Accorsi stressed the importance of hiring a proven winner.
Quinn has won four Super Bowls in New England – 2001, 2003-04 and last season.
“We wanted somebody who was going to come in here and win,” Accorsi said. “You want someone who’s going to win and you want somebody who’s going to be a leader and people can work with. … I wanted somebody who was going to be successful.”
Even though the GM search process is officially over, Accorsi will stay on with the Lions as a special adviser to Wood. He won’t have an office at team headquarters, or travel with the team, but he will be “available by phone,” he said.
Ford was also present through the whole search process, according to Accorsi.
“She was involved, believe me,” he said. “I was really impressed with her knowledge, with her interest. She was involved in everything, and she was a delight.”
The Patriots, who received a first-round playoffs bye this week, are still in the hunt for a Super Bowl this season. However, Accorsi said Quinn would be available to the Lions “rather quickly.”