Thinking 'Outside the Box' Can Help Propel Detroit Lions Franchise

General manager Brad Holmes explains how the Detroit Lions can distinguish themselves from other NFL teams.

The Detroit Lions should consider new and alternative methods of conducting business. 

For decades, traditional approaches to roster building, scouting and coaching decisions have led to disappointment at the end of the season. 

In a sitdown interview with The Detroit News, Lions general manager Brad Holmes was asked what thing or things can help separate the organization from other teams in the National Football League. 

"I believe the best way to answer that, and Dan and I have talked about it a lot, is being outside the box," Holmes expressed. "But, for a reason, and not falling into just because things are done a certain way doesn't mean that they always have to be done that way. One of the things that I've really admired with Dan is his strategic, outside-the-box thinking. He'll bring up something and he'll say, 'What if we don't do this that way' or 'I know we normally do these (practice) periods this way, but what if we reversed it?' And I'm like, 'Wow, that's a good idea. I never thought of it that way.'"

GPS performance-tracking

At the collegiate level, Power 5 schools are using GPS tracking data to monitor player workloads in games and practices in order to alter their training schedules. 

Many coaches and athletic trainers have credited their GPS athlete-monitoring systems for keeping their teams playing at a high level throughout the season. 

For Holmes, wideout Cooper Kupp's eventual emergence on the scene proved to him that using GPS can aid in scouting players. 

"Every time you watch Cooper Kupp, you love watching him play football. Again, it goes back to let's utilize analytics, but let's not forget about the football," Holmes emphasized. "I say it all the time, they're football players. So, every time you watch Cooper Kupp on film, you like him, good football player, but you see him at the Senior Bowl, man, this guy looks explosive. His routes are a different speed than the other guys. Then, he goes to the combine, and runs a 4.6 whatever, goes to his pro day and runs a 4.6 whatever. But, it's like, OK, when he was actually playing football, he was actually playing faster than what that 40 time was. Different players have different reasons why they're going to have those numbers." 

Holmes has already implemented his ideas, as running back Jermar Jefferson had the third-fastest GPS game speed, as opposed to a slower 40-yard dash time. 

Jefferson was selected by the Lions in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

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