| Detroit Free Press
When Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn fired coach Jim Caldwell after the 2017 season, Quinn said that 9-7 isn’t good enough.
After Sunday’s 35-29 loss to the Saints, head coach Matt Patricia, the man brought in to replace Caldwell, fell to 10-25-1 in Detroit.
And among the head-scratching things Patricia has said, this comment on Sunday goes to the top of the list:
“Certainly, I think when I came to Detroit there was a lot of work to do, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
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That struck a chord with former Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky.
Now one of ESPN’s top NFL analysts, Orlovsky was Matthew Stafford’s backup for the first three seasons of Caldwell’s four years with the Lions.
He is unequivocally rejecting Patricia’s premise that “there was a lot of work to do.”
“First of all, we were 11-5 in 2014, and a real good football team,” Orlovsky said on ESPN Radio’s morning show, “Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin,” on Monday. “(In) 2015, we go 7-9, it’s because we turn the football over, but the last eight games, we were 7-1, so flipped our season around. The next two years, we were 9-7, and I believe we were playing Green Bay in both years with a chance to win the division.
“To come in a say you had a lot work to do is completely false. It’s a bunch of trash. Because that wasn’t the case in Detroit. We were a good football team. Matthew Stafford was playing as good as he has in his career. That was because of Coach Caldwell. And we were an organization that was ascending, we were building.”
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And Orlovsky wasn’t done.
“The culture was amazing. The culture was fantastic. So, you had a winning record in three of your four years. The culture was great and your quarterback was playing really good football.
“So for (Patricia) to say there was a lot of work to be done is a bunch of trash.”
Whew! All you need to say after that is “I’ll hang up and listen, thanks for taking my call.”
But then, Orlovsky, with the help of Keyshawn Johnson, a Super Bowl-winning wide receiver and one of the show’s co-hosts, went deeper.
“Second of all,” Orlovsky continued, “you know what Coach Caldwell wasn’t? A finger-pointer.”
And to wrap up his thought, Orlovsky flashed back to those fateful comments from Quinn.
“(The organization) was built for growth, not regression,” Orlovsky said. “And they have regressed massively.” Orlovsky said.
Contact Kirkland Crawford: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @HiKirkHere.