Lions have made changes at team HQ with new GM Bob Quinn
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) The Detroit Lions have made some changes, significant and subtle, under first-year general manager Bob Quinn.
''We're starting to act like a winning organization that brings in millions and billions of dollars,'' receiver Golden Tate said.
''You would think we would have the top of the line of everything. I'm not going to say this is why we're going to win games, but we all notice it and appreciate it and those little things add up.
''When you're taking care of your body, I think it helps, but we'll see.''
The Lions hired strength and conditioning coach, Harold Nash Jr., away from the New England Patriots and revamped the space he trains players. They added a dietitian, Sarah Snyder, and seem to be serving up more quality in the cafeteria.
''The food is a lot better,'' Tate said. ''There are more choices, especially in camp. If you're trying to gain weight, there's a way. Sarah displays a `lean plate,' and a `gain plate,' showing what to eat if you're trying to do one or the other.''
Tate said when he wanted a massage last season, he usually had to leave team headquarters and pay for the service to soothe his aches and pains.
Massages, for free, are made available for players who want them.
The Lions have new carpet in their locker room, some new lockers to help them spread out along with added decorative touches toward the ceiling. And when their cleats and gloves are soaked with sweat, a drying system airs them out.
Visitors to the facility used to be able to walk through the lobby and down a hallway alongside the indoor practice field and catch a glimpse of a workout or practice.
The windows have been mostly filled with decals and tinting, making it almost impossible to see anything.
When reporters have access to a limited part of practice, they are required to sit or stand in bleachers instead of being able to roam around the field.
''Whatever information you don't have to give, you don't give it up,'' safety Tavon Wilson, who played for the Patriots the previous four years, said Wednesday.
The Lions are coming off a 7-9 season, their 13th losing record in 15 years, and Quinn hopes the changes will encourage players to work harder and longer to help the team win.
They made their biggest move in the offseason, hiring Quinn, hoping he could bring some of what he learned with the Patriots.
He was New England's director of pro scouting for four seasons after serving as assistant director of pro personnel for two years.
He was part of the franchise's personnel department for 16 years, working as a national, regional and pro scout and player personnel assistant as the Patriots won four Super Bowls under Bill Belichick.
''We had a good talk on the phone when I got here,'' said receiver and returner Jeremy Kerley, who signed with the Quinn-led Lions after playing for the New York Jets.
''He has been around a winning program in New England, so he knows what he is doing. His style is very strategic and he puts guys in the right place to be successful.''
Lions coach Jim Caldwell, who was retained by Quinn in his first major decision, said the improvements with the strength and conditioning program can make an instant impact. The tweaks to the nutrition program, meanwhile, he believes will be a benefit in the near future.
''It takes a little bit of time for you to really assess the positive nature of it, but certainly we understand it and know that it's scientific,'' Caldwell said. ''It's a fact that it will help you and I think most of our guys are buying into it, which is good.''
AP NFL websites: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL