Lions could chase Patriots coordinators if team misses playoffs

Lions rookie general manager Bob Quinn contemplated making a coaching change a year ago, and, should his team lose Sunday night and fall out of the playoffs after leading the NFC North much of the season, several of his peers believe he will at least consider a change.

Quinn has built a strong rapport with coach Jim Caldwell after rarely interacting with him before interviewing him a year ago, and Detroit has defied expectations during what was thought to be a rebuilding season or sorts.

However, Quinn also has close ties to two of New England's coveted coordinators from his time with the Patriots -- Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia -- and this offseason could prove to be his only real opportunity to land one of them (McDaniels will be the hottest coordinator for interviews as soon as the regular season ends).

The entire organization is focused on the de facto NFC North championship game with Green Bay on Sunday night, and not thinking beyond that. But if the Lions were to finish with three straight losses and miss the postseason, things could change. Quinn was handed full authority to make such a change a year ago even with Caldwell, who is well-liked by ownership, finishing that season strong.

This would be among the most sought-after openings among top coaching candidates, especially some offensive-minded types. The team has a franchise quarterback in Matthew Stafford, plays its home games in a dome and is in a division that is not loaded with overpowering opponents. Coaching candidates were monitoring this situation very closely a year ago, and Quinn would not have a problem luring a top coordinator for this job if he began a search this January.

CBS Sports Insider

Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday... Full Bio

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