Lions Hire New GM, Now What?
The Detroit Lions have hired a new General Manager. His name is Brad Holmes. Is it okay to be excited, if you're a Lions fan?
Sure. But for the typical shell-shocked Lions die-hard, you've been down this road before. No one will be surprised at your wait-and-see attitude. That's to be expected.
The Lions management team went through all the due diligence and interviewed 12 candidates, and was apparently blown away enough by Holmes to fly him in yesterday for a face to face. And now he's got a five year deal to be the latest "messiah" to try and "restore the roar." We'll see. The Lions move from the Patriot Way to the Rams Standard. Maybe in a few years, there will be the Lions Benchmark. Again, we'll see.
The early reaction from outside Michigan is quite positive. Holmes checked the boxes in his interview. He has a connection to the Lions. His uncle was a Lions first round draft pick in 1978, Luther Bradley, a defensive back from Notre Dame. His late father, Mel Holmes, was an offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970's, just as the were ascending to Super Bowl level, but son Brad wasn't born yet.
He's risen through the Rams organization, starting as an intern and worked his way to College scouting director. He's run the Rams' draft for the past eight seasons. Think Aaron Donald; though there's an element of luck in that, the Lions passed on Donald to draft Eric Ebron. Of course, Ebron's played well since leaving Motown.
Seems to me, Holmes has two major hires to make that he can't miss on. The head coaching hire is critical, but so is a director of pro personnel. Holmes' expertise in on the college side, finding some solid free agents will be important, too.
Reading some of the comments from people who know Holmes work are pretty positive, with one comparing him to a young Ozzie Newsome, the now retired architect of the Baltimore Ravens. If Holmes gets to that level, Lions fans will have a lot to cheer about in the coming years.
On the other side, Free-Press writer Carlos Monarrez thinks, at best, this is a gamble, but he pretty much has termed the hire a disaster. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
Holmes has to decide on Matthew Stafford pretty quick. If he trades him, then we know he has control over the team. (Lots of money involved, especially with budgets strained due to the pandemic.) Elsewhere, expect most of the defense to be gone in a year or two, Probably most of the offense, too. There are a couple of building blocks on the roster, but not many, in house already. D'Andre Swift, Jeff Okudah, Kenny Golladay, maybe a couple of others, but make no mistake, this is a rebuilding project.