ALLEN PARK, Mich. – The Detroit Lions hired Randy Edsall soon after Bob Quinn was hired as the team’s general manager. Edsall helped Quinn get his first big break when he was a graduate assistant at UConn, placing a call to help him get a gig with the New England Patriots.
That gig eventually led Quinn to becoming Detroit’s GM in January. After Edsall was hired by the Lions, it wasn’t completely clear what his role would end up being.
There’s a little more clarity now.
“He does a lot of things for us,” coach Jim Caldwell said. “Going to be quite a bit. I’m going to certainly utilize him in a number of different areas. There’s nothing in terms of one area that we’re going to have him work.
“He’s going to do a little bit of advanced scouting for us. He’s going to continue from a defensive standpoint to help our offense. We’re going to have him work with a little bit of time-management issues, clock-management issues. Across the board.”
Caldwell said Edsall will not be the team’s clock-management coach on game days, though.
Caldwell did a similar thing with former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel when he was in Indianapolis, essentially bringing him on as a replay-review consultant. Edsall’s job – his official title is director of football research-special projects – gives the former Connecticut and Maryland coach a lot of leeway as to what his role will be.
The most valuable thing he might bring to Caldwell, though, is experience. He’s one of a bunch of former head coaches on staff along with Ron Prince, Al Golden and Gunther Cunningham.
“I don’t think you can ever get too much experience,” Caldwell said. “You have guys like that who have been around a long time and seen it from a number of vantage points and experience with a number of different things, so why limit them to just one area?
“I use him in a lot of things. I stop by his office. We talk about practice, what practice looked like. We talk about what we saw. It’s a perspective similar to yours if you knew exactly what you were looking for, you have a chance to kind of observe it without being in the forest. Assistant coaches are down in the trenches so often times you’re kind of stepping back and you can kind of see some things.
“It’s always great to kind of have somebody else to bounce that off and with real strong football knowledge, which is what he has. Those guys are invaluable to me.”