How Lions GM Brad Holmes Addressed Roster Questions

Read how new Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes addressed roster questions during his introductory press conference.
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On QB Matthew Stafford and the future of Detroit’s quarterback position: “Great question. So Matthew (is a) great player, and what you really appreciate is -- I think the talent level is easy to see, but you really appreciate how his intangibles show on film. Just how urgent he plays, how competitive he is, the toughness that he shows, but it is my job to evaluate the entire roster. Through that process, I have not had any discussions with Matt or any players, for that matter. So I just want to be fair to the process to make sure that we evaluate that thoroughly, but obviously, Matt, very good football player.”

On if he envisions the team will undergo a reboot or a rebuild: “That’s a fair question. I think when you get into the offseason, I think every franchise, every team, will look at the areas they might need some, let’s say ‘retooling’ and areas that need to be addressed. But the ultimate goal is to make sure that the most competitive team is on the field, and that starts right this year, entering the 2021 season. So not viewing this as, ‘Oh this will be a long-term -- I don’t know how long this is going to take,’ that’s not the approach, that’s not the mindset going into it. The approach is to make sure that we can put the most competitive team possible out there on the field in 2021.”

On what changes need to be made right away: “I would go back to sticking to the process that I do have planned, and the process that I will have in place. There’s really not one, specific item or area that’s like, it has to be changed right now. I just have a lot of confidence in the plan and the process that we’ll have in place. So if we stay disciplined in that approach to that process, then we should get the necessary results that we desire.”

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On his approach of bringing top talent to Detroit similar to the talent with the Los Angeles Rams: “I’ll start with what I was saying earlier about how important the intangibles aspect is, and we used to always talk about, let’s invest in reliability and let’s invest in reliable players. And obviously, we’re not overlooking talent, a baseline of talent is very necessary. It is the NFL, but I truly believe that the separator of success is those players that do have those high intangible traits. So, that’s a motto that was used with the Rams that obviously bode (well) for a lot of draft success and that same approach will definitely be carried over for the Lions.”

On how the defense gets rebuilt: “Please don’t get mad at me if I don’t use the word rebuild, if I just continue to pivot toward retool. But I do think that there are some building blocks on this defense currently. Obviously, we will address that side of the ball just like we’ll address the offensive side of the ball. There is no area that we won’t work to improve in. But I do think that there are some good, young talented pieces that are still in their phase of developing. I do think that there’s some veterans that have brought good production to the table. I would definitely say, definitely going to retool in some areas, but there are some building blocks there.”

On his first initial steps regarding how he will address the roster: “Initially, right immediately, once the head coach is on board, I want to make sure that we sit down and make sure that I am in direct alignment and full understanding of what his philosophy is and what his vision is. I’ve always had this question of, ‘Well, what is your vision of the team?’ I can tell you what I want it to look like, but truly it is the head coach’s vision. He’s the face of the team. He’s the voice of the team. So, I want to make sure like I was saying about the service role as a GM, I want to make sure that I’m providing the head coach and aiding him with the best possible resources to make sure that his system and philosophy is running at an elite level. So, that’s first and foremost that will have to happen and once we get that on board, then I think that’ll be a great start of a process of how we’ll dive into the initial outset of free agency and what those plans are and to make sure that we’re bringing in players that truly, truly fit. I’ll never forget when Sean McVay came in, in 2017 with the Rams, we signed Robert Woods and Andrew Whitworth. And you know, they might not have been, I’m not sure if you want to deem it the popular names, but they were fits. They were culture fits. They were schematic fits. So, that’s a good, intentional approach and model that I can definitely take and follow as I embark on this journey with the Lions. And you know, just for that relationship, I always said that it has to be tight as family. So, me and the head coach, we have to be -- I’m sure you’ve heard, aligned at the hip, in lockstep. But I truly think, tight as family is very important because there might be times where you might not see eye to eye, but when you’re tight as family, you can work through those things and come to a winning solution.”