Now, on to your questions.
Mike, do you think it's likely that Bob Quinn planned all along to hire Patricia in his third year? Take 3 offseasons to build the roster then put in the coach you want so he doesn't tank due to personnel. #LionsMailbag— Brett Cousino (@bcoozno) February 9, 2018
Brett, this is an interesting concept for a question because I think there are multiple tentacles to it. Based on conversations with people -- including Bob Quinn -- I think if Quinn was ever in a position to hire a coach and Matt Patricia was available, he would have been near the top or the top candidate. Quinn said as much Wednesday -- that he always felt he could work with Patricia. As far as the timing? I don't necessarily believe that. If the Lions had struggled in 2016, it would not have surprised me at all if Quinn made a move then (and likely hired Patricia at that point because he was available). If Caldwell had made a run this year, made the playoffs and won a game or two, then I don't know if Caldwell would have been gone. When Quinn was chatting with me Wednesday night, he said he had no problems working with Caldwell at all. That was not part of this decision. So, though the roster is set up better now than maybe it was when Quinn was hired, I don't think the way it went down was a preordained time frame in Quinn's head. I think it's just when it happened to happen.
Do you think we'll see jarrad davis' hand in the dirt during the season? #LionsMailbag also where do you see reeves-maybin fitting in?— Jacob Baumann (@Jacob_A_Baumann) February 9, 2018
Jacob, it would seem unlikely that would happen. Jarrad Davis is, to me, a middle linebacker. It's what he was drafted for and where he is likely to fit best no matter what scheme Patricia runs. He needs to improve his pass coverage, for sure, but he does not strike me as a hand-in-the-dirt player. Jalen Reeves-Maybin, to me, is a coverage linebacker who has speed. Depending on the scheme, he could play a Will position, in my opinion. That said, it's still pretty early in Patricia's player evaluation process. This will get sorted over the next few months.
It seems like Patricia and Quinn really have chemistry after all those car rides, yet Quinn wanted a guy that could challenge him on decisions that would make this a better football team. How important is that chemistry and did Caldwell ever come close? #LionsMailbag— Raymond Nuznoff (@rayray1222) February 8, 2018
Raymond, I asked both Quinn and Patricia versions of this question Wednesday night and I'll have more on it next week. The chemistry between the two has been clear from the start. Both mentioned they view football and prospects similarly and that they will have to agree on a player. Human nature would say there will be guys they disagree on. Who wins that argument? Quinn told me "probably me," but also said if there is enough of a disagreement, then they would probably move on from that player. I think Caldwell and Quinn had familiar visions for players. I never sensed a discord between them. It came down to winning games -- and beating teams with winning records. That's why Patricia is here and Caldwell is not.
How big of a deal is Al Golden changing positions from the Lions perspective? Is he a rising star? #LionsMailbag— Péter Mayer (@mayerpeter47) February 8, 2018
I wouldn't read that much into it. Al Golden has been, for the majority of his career, a defensive coach. When he's coached a position prior to his time with the Lions, it was linebackers at Boston College and Penn State in the 1990s before he became Virginia's defensive coordinator in 2001. That seems to be the best fit for him as a position coach, so I view it as a move to put him in the spot he'll be most successful. Nothing more.
#LionsMailbag The dust is finally settling after a busy week. What are your thoughts on the new Coaching Staff? What do feel will be different? Thanks for the good work!— Chris Fetterley (@ChrisFetterley) February 9, 2018
Chris, I think it's a coaching staff Patricia is comfortable with and familiar with. That's a reasonable start. Even Patricia will admit that there was no way he was going to land the perfect staff at every position right at the start, because some of those people were just not going to be available. Plus, as Patricia evolves as a head coach and the Lions evolve as a team around him, there might be different needs. Of the coaches he has brought in, I really like Brian Stewart as a defensive backs coach. He has coordinator experience in college and has been a multitude of places as a coordinator and defensive backs coach. An interesting connection there is that while Stewart was in San Diego, he coached Quentin Jammer as a defensive backs coach. Now, he'll coach Jammer's younger brother, Quandre Diggs, in Detroit as a defensive back. It's too soon to say, though, what will be different from this staff, because they are still getting accustomed to their jobs and surroundings. A lot of attention will be paid to offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter this offseason, though, because Cooter was the main holdover from Caldwell's staff. So the offense has to have continuity and success this year or else there will be some big-time questions.