DETROIT -- They forged their relationship in the 12 years they spent together in New England, when they took long car rides together to evaluate draft prospects and sat in each other's office late at night discussing players.
On Wednesday, Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia were reunited again, this time as Detroit Lions general manager and head coach, in a union that the long-suffering organization hopes will eventually lead it to Super Bowl-type success.
Quinn and Patricia were clear at the latter's introductory news conference Wednesday that they are "not putting any timelines or timetables on when we're going to win what."
But Quinn also promised: "We have great aspirations of what we want to do in this organization."
Patricia, 43, takes over a 9-7 team that narrowly missed the playoffs last season after earning a wild-card berth in 2016. He's coming off his own Super Bowl run with the Patriots, and on Wednesday he made a favorable first impression when he introduced himself to Detroit as a leader, a problem solver and someone who will represent the toughness of the city.
Patricia spoke lovingly about his wife, children and parents, all of whom watched the proceedings from a few yards away.
He promised to field a hard-working and high-character team.
And as Quinn spent five minutes answering reporters' questions on the dais, Patricia often nodded his head in agreement with his long-time friend.
"They're not the same person," Lions president Rod Wood said after the news conference. "They're going to see things in sometimes different ways, but I think they'll have a way of figuring it out and doing what's right for the Lions. But there's a trust factor that you can't really repeat right out of the gate with a brand new person that's very obvious to me and should be a beneficial thing for the team."
The Lions interviewed Patricia twice, on Jan. 5 during the Patriots' first-round playoff bye and again three weeks later during their week off before the Super Bowl, and Quinn said he and Patricia are like-minded in many aspects of football.