FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Bob Quinn was announced as the new general manager of the Detroit Lions on Monday afternoon after 16 seasons as a versatile, respected member of the New England Patriots scouting department.
Though not a name with which fans are likely too familiar, Quinn more than earned his shot in Detroit and Patriots coach Bill Belichick is clearly rooting for a guy he leaned on heavily over his entire career in New England.
"Of course I'm happy for Bob," Belichick said. "He's done a great job for us and really has been kind of one of the foundation blocks from the last decade-and-a-half. He did a lot of things for us, pro and college. But it's a great opportunity for him. It's a great organization.
"Happy for Bob. Great opportunity for him. Other than when we see them, which is infrequently, I wish him and the Lions all the best."
--Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia are being mentioned as head coach prospects.
"I think they are both ready and willing to be head coaches," said Quinn, who came to Detroit after serving as director of pro scouting in New England. He says he has great relationships with both McDaniels and Patricia.
As of Monday, the Lions were not technically looking for a coach, as Jim Caldwell is still on board.
Patricia interviewed for the Cleveland head coaching job over the weekend. McDaniels has not interviewed with anybody, but is expected to do so.
McDaniels was Denver's head coach in 2009-10 and had a record of 11-17. He has been the Patriots organization and has been defensive coordinator since 2012.
McDaniels reportedly declined opportunities last week to interview for head coaching jobs, including the Miami opening that eventually went to Adam Gase. In a Monday morning conference call coming out of the bye week, the New England offensive coordinator made it clear there is nothing cooking at this point in terms of his future employment.
"I'm focused on the Chiefs, and there's nothing to report. I'm excited for this week right now and don't really have anything to add to it," McDaniels said, although he did go on to say he continues to learn and improve his candidacy for a potential future second chance as a head coach after a tenure in Denver that ended quite poorly.
"I think that there are a lot of experiences that you have in coaching, and if you learn from the experiences as you go through them, whether it's as a coordinator, a position coach, a quality control coach, a head coach, whatever it might be, and you learn from those mistakes that you make and you learn from those experiences and take the good and take the bad and try to assess what you can do to be a better coach, a better staff member or what have you, then hopefully we're all improving. That's the goal, and right now, my focus is on being the best coordinator and quarterback coach I can be for us so that we can get ready and have our best game of the year against the Chiefs right now."
--K Stephen Gostkowski is arguably the best in the game today. The Pro Bowler and All-Pro has played his career in New England in the spotlight of franchise legend Adam Vinatieri, who happened to hit some of the most clutch kicks in NFL history.
Last weekend, Gostkowski observed highlights of Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missing a would-be, game-winning 27-yard field goal with 22 seconds left in the Wild Card battle with the Seahawks.
Gostkowski had a unique reaction to watching his fraternal kicking brother miss in such a key moment.
"It's unfortunate," he said. "Personally I feel really bad for Blair. Professionally it's part of the game. It's something that happens. We've all been there. I've seen the best of the best miss kicks, miss big kicks, miss short kicks. It happens to everybody, sometimes just timing is very unfortunate.
"I was at least proud of the way he stood up there, took it on his shoulders. Personally I feel terrible for him. Professionally it's what we sign up for. You have to be able to take the good and the bad. He was man enough to do that. He didn't succeed on the field but he handled himself with class after the game. Which at least he can hang his hat on that."
--Quarterback Tom Brady (right ankle) did not show any signs of limitations during the media viewing portion of practice on Monday in Foxborough.
--S Nate Ebner was the only Patriots player not on the field during the media portion of Monday's practice. The veteran has been wearing a cast on his right arm since the season finale in Miami.
--TE Rob Gronkowski was named to the Associated Press All-Pro team for 2015, the third time and second straight year he's earned the honor.
--K Stephen Gostkowski was named to the Associated Press All-Pro squad for this season, the second time (2008) he's received the recognition.
--WR Julian Edelman (foot) has been practicing for weeks on a limited basis, but missed the final seven games of the regular season after surgery to repair a Jones' fracture suffered Nov. 15 against the Giants. Edelman is expected to return to action on Saturday evening for the Divisional Playoff against the Chiefs in Foxborough. His return is being counted on to boost a Patriots passing attack and overall offense that's been sputtering, for a variety of reasons for most of Edelman's absence.
"I'm feeling good. I've been working hard, doing everything I can to get myself ready," Edelman said. "I'd say I'm more focused than anxious. I put my heart and soul into everything I do to get ready for the season. Not to be able to go out there [for so long]... it sucks. Hopefully I can go out and help in practice and get better each day and improve and prepare for this week."