Rod Wood, Bob Quinn and Jim Caldwell fielded questions from season ticket holders for an hour
The Detroit Lions held their rebranded “Member Summit” for season-ticket holders tonight where team president Rod Wood, general manager Bob Quinn and coach Jim Caldwell spend an hour answering questions about the state of the organization in a town hall meeting setting
Topics ranged from Quinn’s philosophy in free agency and the state of the offensive line, to off-the-field subjects like uniforms, ticket prices and cheerleaders. Here are some of the highlights:
•The Lions signed just one high-priced free agent this off-season in receiver Marvin Jones, and it appears that Quinn will continue along that path as GM.
Asked about his approach to free agency, Quinn said, “I think the best way to build a football team is through the draft and you can supplement through free agency when you have some real serious needs. That’s my philosophy.”
•Wood said Quinn won over him and owner Martha Fireston Ford in the first interview they held for general manager the Tuesday after the season, a four-hour meeting in Providence, R.I., that Lions consultant Ernie Accorsi also attended.
Accorsi, who recommended Quinn as a candidate with the blessing of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, spoke glowingly of Quinn after the meeting.
“(Quinn) came in as a first-time interviewee and I was a first-time interviewer and he was incredibly prepared and had a very clear vision of how he wanted to build the football team,” Wood said. “He knew a lot about the team we already had and how he’d go about improving it, and we were all very impressed. And after the interview Ernie asked us what we thought and both Mrs. Ford and I were very honest and made comments. And Ernie said, ‘Well, I’ll tell you what I thought. That’s the best general manager interview I’ve ever done.’ And he’s done a lot of them. I don’t know if Bob’s ever heard that.”
Accorsi also helped the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons with recent GM searches.
•Wood confirmed that the Lions will wear Color Rush jerseys for a Thursday game, be it Thanksgiving or on a Thursday night, this fall.
“All teams that play on Thursday this year will wear a Color Rush uniform,” he said. “The roll out of the Color Rush uniforms for all teams will occur when they announce the schedule and when we know whether we’re playing a Thursday night game or we’re playing just Thanksgiving. I’m hoping we have another Thursday night game in addition to Thanksgiving. And we will wear a uniform that I can’t describe yet because the NFL won’t allow me to. It will be all one color and we’ll wear it on Thursday night.”
•Wood also said the Lions could wear a different Color Rush uniform in 2017, along with making minor changes to their regular uniforms and bringing back their throwback jerseys.
•As for cheerleaders, Wood said he’s “taking strong consideration” to adding them. “Stay tuned.”
•Wood also hinted that more ticket prices are coming after the team raised ticket prices an average of 7.8% this year coming off a disappointing 7-9 season. “I chose to recommend the ticket price increase that we put through,” Wood said. “It still keeps us as only the 24th most expensive average ticket price in the NFL. I would like to get to the point where we’re at least average, because unless we’re average we’re going to be struggling to compete nationally with other teams that have more resources from investing in things that help the football team.”
Wood said this year’s increase has helped fund things like a new weight room, extra assistant coaches and the addition of a dietitian to the staff.
•Caldwell on if the Lions will consider taking down the “participation” banners for making the playoffs that hang from the rafters of Ford Field. “I think you could go either way with it, but we kind of like hanging the banners up there and we hope to add 15, 20 more in a short period of time.”
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