Bob Quinn on Matt Patricia: “I’m not paid to do extensive background checks”

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The Lions hired new head coach Matt Patricia last year without doing a background check, which would have revealed that Patricia had been indicted for aggravated sexual assault in 1996. Lions General Manager Bob Quinn, who hired Patricia, has kept a low profile since that news surfaced. But today Quinn addressed the issue, and denied that he came up short in researching Patricia before hiring him.

At his end-of-season press conference, Quinn said that background checks aren’t his department, and he sees no reason he should have known.

“I’m not paid to do extensive background checks,” Quinn said.

It might technically be true that Quinn’s job description doesn’t include background checks. But it absolutely is his responsibility to ensure that someone in the organization is checking the background of head-coaching candidates. If Quinn isn’t capable of delegating that task to someone competent, then Quinn himself isn’t suited to the job of General Manager of an NFL team.

And it would not have taken an “extensive” background check to uncover the charge against Patricia, which was available via a simple Nexis search. Again, Quinn may not be the person who is individually responsible for such a search, but he ought to make sure someone within the organization is handling it.

It’s also worth wondering why Quinn didn’t simply ask Patricia, whom he’s known for many years going back to their days in New England together, whether there was anything in his background the team needed to know about. If Quinn and Patricia have a strong relationship, as Quinn has always said they do, then Quinn should have looked Patricia in the eye before hiring him and asked him, “Is there anything in your background that could be a problem for the organization if it came to light?” If Quinn didn’t ask that question, then again he failed to do what NFL General Managers need to do. And if Quinn did ask that question and Patricia lied to him, that’s an even bigger problem.

47 responses to “Bob Quinn on Matt Patricia: “I’m not paid to do extensive background checks”

  1. Lions didn’t know
    New England didn’t know.
    Giants didn’t know (they interviewed him too right?)
    Did Syracuse know when he worked for them?

    Maybe it’s not just a Lions issue. Just a thought.

  2. He’s right. He’s not paid to do anything but win. When you win, everything about you is blown out of proportion. Same when you lose. Just start winning and all will be forgiven. By the way, he wasn’t the one charged with the crime.

  3. Just. Wow. That’s the sort of response you’d expect from some entry-level worker with little responsibility pulling down minimum wage.

  4. What a cop out! The head coach is the face of the franchise. That hire is literally the most important decision a general manager will make. If Quinn can’t be bothered to conduct a simple background check on his most important employee, you have to wonder if he has possesses the savvy to hold a CEO-like position. Lord knows, scouts undertake extensive research on player backgrounds before the draft. What makes a prospective coach immune to the same scrutiny?

  5. To be fair, Patricia had been an NFL coach for 14 years before coming to the lions. A reasonable person would assume that a background check would have occurred far before he rose to the level of being interviewed for a head coaching job. Someone just coming into the league, it makes sense to do a thorough background check. In the corporate world, we don’t do background checks on people getting promoted because it was already done when they first got here. The NFL being the way it is, plucking an assistant from another team is akin to an internal promotion.

  6. @Chris Vachio

    This a horrible analogy. Matt Patricia wasn’t “promoted”, he took a job with an entirely new company. They absolutely should have done a background check, regardless of his employment with another company.

    If I leave my job and go work for another company, I’m pretty sure they would laugh at me if I said “You guys don’t need to do a background check, drug test, or credit check on me. I was clean at my previous job so that’s all the proof you need.”

  7. Quinn knew him from their days with the Patriots. It never came up back then and their was no reason to ask now. Patricia is a good defensive coach and was hired based on his years with New England. His behavior with Patriots and now gave no reason to ask about his life 20 years ago.

  8. He wasn’t charged !!! This is a nothing burger…That said Bob Quinn would probably like to have that lame answer back.

  9. Quinn should have done his job, but an indictment is not a conviction, and too many forget the basic principle of our judicial system “innocent until proven guilty”. He may have some bad PR items in his past, but he was not found guilty of anything.

  10. Chris Vachio says:
    January 4, 2019 at 10:20 am

    To be fair, Patricia had been an NFL coach for 14 years before coming to the lions. A reasonable person would assume that a background check would have occurred far before he rose to the level of being interviewed for a head coaching job. Someone just coming into the league, it makes sense to do a thorough background check. In the corporate world, we don’t do background checks on people getting promoted because it was already done when they first got here. The NFL being the way it is, plucking an assistant from another team is akin to an internal promotion.
    ………………………………..

    AMEN !

  11. I really cant stand that because of something that happened years ago corporate america automatically says your worthless and cant get a job. Patricia has been a coach for 14 years and has done a good enough job to be considered for this opportunity. lets all get off our high horses and let this man talent speak for him not his mistakes. I am a business owner and some of the most talented people I have ever hired have had things on their backgrounds in my opinion businesses are cutting themselves short by eliminating people that have made mistakes.

  12. Lame response from Quinn, no doubt.

    But, the cliche that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich is true. There is no “defense” during a grand jury proceeding, the prosecutor alone does all the questioning and calls all the witnesses. It is terribly unfair.

    Was Patricia convicted? Accusations are common. Convictions? Not so much.

  13. Okay, so lets suppose we actually live in a society in which someone has to be actually convicted of a crime to be considered guilty, or unworthy of ever being employed again. Are we really going to go down this road to absolute stupidity? I am not a Lions fan or a Patricia apologist, but how about some common sense?

  14. Was it Ben Franklin who said it was better to stay silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt.

  15. It would be nice to include the FULL question and answer from that interview.

    According to the Detroit Free Press:

    ‘Bob Quinn at the time saying the incident did not show up on Patricia’s standard pre-employment background check, and that the organization stood behind him as coach.

    “For a high-level position, we do an extensive background check on everybody and nothing came up so that’s kind of how we go through those processes,” Quinn said.’

    —————

    The point is, Quinn did a background check and NOTHING popped up on it so it wasn’t necessary to go further and do another background search AGAIN.

  16. Thats the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard from a GM….hands down..another Unqualified New Englander running a team into the ground……wonder if he is “on time ” for his meetings…

  17. Lol. I would fire him for cause for admitting this, which they should have done with Patricia when that stuff came out who just acted like it never happened in an interview to be the face of a multimillion dollar corporation. Would it have mattered this year? That still wouldn’t save the next coach though since this bozo gave Stafford that contract. What a mess

  18. Also, for the innocent until proven guilty crowd (like that has anything to do with this), I’m going to note your screen names to see your comments next time this stuff comes up on players. Because it’s always a whole different vibe around those whether they got indicted, just accused, etc. The fact is that considering what’s kind of going on PR wise in this country, not disclosing that you have some sexual assault type stuff in your background is kind of crazy. It unnecessarily opened the Lions financially up to anything from false accusations to worse if an alleged accuser decided to go after him for some even perceived sexual misconduct, not to mention the PR hit they took, which would have been way worse if most of us didn’t care anything about the Lions because they’ve always been irrelevant. Not giving your prospective employer a heads up coming through the door is a firable offense.

  19. Remember when Quinn said the Lions had a zero tolerance policy in regards to domestic violence. Yeah, that policy ended as soon as a player of their had a domestic violence situation. It sounds like they decided they don’t have a zero tolerance policy on domestic violence after all.

  20. Hypothetically, if he did “get paid for” thoroughly vetting potential hires, then he failed miserably. Realistically, he does “get paid” to put together a staff and roster that is driven and successful, while turning around decades of a losing culture. And he’s failed miserably at that, too. Wrong guy for the job.

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