ALLEN PARK, Michigan. – It took almost seven weeks. They conducted more than a dozen interviews with more chats on their computers than anyone could have asked for.
When Sheila Ford Hamp was killed on the 28th. Last November, Executive Director Bob Quinn was fired. She promised that Lions would conduct an extremely thorough and comprehensive search for the team’s new front office manager. With the selection of Brad Holmes, the director of college scouting for the Los Angeles Rams, Detroit has completed what can be described as an exhaustive and thorough search.
And that’s something that could at least signal that Detroit is trying to do the right thing this time around.
Anyone who says they know whether Holmes will get the CEO job in Detroit is just guessing. This is the reality of any new employee in a new situation, especially if he or she has never been a general manager before.
– Round of distribution: Matches, X odds
– Winning tips for the eight teams
– Experts predict the outsiders, plus
– Schedules, brackets, TV time .
It’s not a coup for Holmes, who has done a fantastic job building the Rams’ draft even without the benefit of a first-round pick in the last four years, with Jared Goff recently selected as the No. 1 overall pick in 2016.
But judging by the way the Lions did their research: It involved a consistent process of research in many locations and interviews with 12 candidates from different backgrounds. Lions interviewed three internal candidates. They interviewed former executive directors Thomas Dimitroff, Rick Smith, Scott Pioli and Jeff Ireland. They met a big name in television, Louis Riddick, and other front office staff from various organizations and viewpoints.
They said they would be an exhaustive hunt for the one that will finally bring a winner to Detroit after more than 60 years of inconsistency. Holmes thinks he’s found the man.
Detroit, unlike Quinn, arrived with some valuable attributes he was looking for in his new direction of football. They needed someone who could work towards an inclusive culture, who was open and willing to communicate, and who could be a leader.
Error! The file name is not specified. Lionsteam president Rod Wood, left, admits he didn’t understand GM’s position before hiring Bob Quinn, right. Leon Khalip/Getty Images
Holmes, judging by his time with the Ramses, knows that. He was able to adapt and be flexible enough to move forward in the organization with the help of five different head coaches and four general managers. He led the Scouts as Director of College Scouting and has extensive experience evaluating players, making decisions about their performance and integrating them into the culture Los Angeles is trying to build.
These are things he can bring to Detroit.
Mr. Holmes, who will be Detroit’s second CEO, has also spearheaded efforts to contain the Rams. Kevin Demoff, Rams operations manager, said he was part of the club’s management team that deals with social justice and diversity issues, and that those issues were also important to Hamp.
Hamp was one of the first owners to say in June that she would have no problem getting her team to sign quarterback Colin Kaepernick if her football team felt he was the player they wanted. Shortly after becoming an owner, she distributed Stony the Road, a book by her friend Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on Reconstruction, White Supremacy and the Jim Crow Rebellion. Then she brought Gates in to talk about it practically with the team.
The whole process has been different for Lyons. A group of four sat down with the candidates: Hamp, team president Rod Wood, special assistant Chris Spielman and team cap specialist Mike Disner. They focus on the qualities they have desired, rather than what people – or their organizations – have done in the past. They have formed an advisory committee consisting of former Michigan State Director Mark Hollis, Alliance Executive Director Fritz Pollard Rod Graves and Hall of Fame member Barry Sanders to assist with appeals and the selection process.
There were more votes. Other opinions. That’s what the Lions learned when they hired Patricia as Wood and Quinn traveled around the country conducting interviews. They also didn’t hire a research firm or an official NFL consultant, as they did when they hired Quinn.
In interviewing candidates for Quinn’s position, Detroit interviewed three people. This time it addressed four candidates, four times as many.
We’re trying to do things differently, Wood said. I’m trying to find the right people.
In three or four years we’ll know if Holmes is the right man for us. For now, for today, the Lions can at least know that they did what they said they would do. They talked to a lot of people and came back with a guy they think has the best chance of finally making a winner in Detroit.
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