Owner Sheila Ford Hamp couldn’t hide her excitement about new Lions general manager Brad Holmes as she was introducing him on Tuesday during a virtual press conference.
“Just wait, you’ll see,’’ Hamp said repeatedly.
Team president Rod Wood explained how he trusts his first impressions. Within two or three minutes of the first interview with Holmes (which was virtual), Wood wrote a note to himself, “This is the guy.”
Holmes, 41, has worked his way up in the NFL.
In fact, he noted the last time he was at the Lions practice facility was when he was interviewing for a PR intern position. That was around 2003.
Instead he took the same job with the St. Louis Rams and worked his way up through the scouting ranks. He spent 18 seasons with the Rams, most recently as director of college scouting. He brings his knowledge of the 2021 draft class to Detroit.
Hamp was right, Holmes seems to have the right attitude to get the Lions back to the playoffs and not just get there, but also win.
“Everything is about the team, bottom line,’’ he said. His delivery guaranteed those are not empty words.
He was quite clear about the intangible he wants to see in every player. That would be passion. Holmes said there is no margin for error. Passion is of utmost importance when it comes to intangibles.
“We will build a winning and inspired culture… There will be no ego in this process,’’ Holmes said.
He’s not looking at a five-year plan. He’s looking to put a winning team on the field in the fall.
It’s hard not to like this guy just from watching this one virtual press conference.
Now he has to put some muscle behind his words and make the best decisions. He will be involved in the next big hire – the head coach.
Hamp, Wood, Chris Spielman (special assistant to Hamp) and Mike Disner (vice president of football operations) were in on all of the interviews. They talked to a dozen GM candidates.
When they debriefed after the initial Holmes interview, it wasn’t just Rod Wood who knew he was The Guy. It was unanimous.
It could be the dawn of a new era for the Lions franchise which hasn’t won a playoff game since Jan. 5, 1992.
Or it could be just another Lions’ GM hire.
I’d bet on the former.
Just a gut feeling.