SI All Lions Roundtable: Best General Manager Candidate

The latest SI All Lions Roundtable focuses on which candidate for the general manager vacancy is the best for the Detroit Lions.
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1.) Of the eight candidates the Lions have been linked with for GM, who is the best candidate for the job? 

John Maakaron: Experience and success are really the key factors the Detroit Lions should consider in their next general manager.

Former Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is a former two-time NFL Executive of the Year winner. 

The experienced front-office executive spent the last 12 years running the Falcons and the organization had its fair share of success during his tenure. 

Dimitroff went 113-92 and led the Falcons to Super Bowl LI, a game in which Atlanta led 28-3 prior to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leading an epic comeback to secure the victory. 

Vito Chirco: At this point, I think former Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith. 

Most notably, he drafted quarterback Deshaun Watson in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft (No. 12 overall), and since, Watson has become an MVP-caliber passer. 

He also led the Texans to many more .500 or better seasons than losing ones (eight .500 or better campaigns and only four of the losing variety). 

It makes him, in my opinion, the best man for the job currently, based on the candidates that have interviewed for the position up to this point.

2.) How unfair is it the NFL didn't postpone the game on Saturday?

Maakaron: Par for the course, I guess. The league never does the Lions any favors, and their latest decision only furthers the narrative that the league has devalued the Lions and only makes decisions that are detrimental to the organization. 

Really, it would not have required much to reschedule the game to Sunday. 

Chirco: I view it as unfair to a large degree, because it seems like to me that if it would've been a higher-profile team like the Chiefs or Patriots, then the league office would've gone ahead and postponed the game by at least a day. 

In the year of COVID, when the NFL has had to constantly adjust its game schedule on the fly, how hard would it have really been for the league to move back the Lions' Week 16 contest with Tampa Bay to Sunday? 

Heck, the league allowed a Week 12 matchup between the Ravens and Steelers to be played on a Wednesday afternoon. 

So, I find it completely inexcusable that the league office couldn't oblige Detroit's request to bump the game back by a day. 

3.) What should supporters of the Lions watch for in the final two weeks of the season? 

Maakaron: I understand many are ready to start focusing on the 2021 NFL Draft after a disappointing season. 

In the remaining two games, I will be looking for the continued development of the younger talent on the roster. 

I wonder if Trey Flowers or Kenny Golladay will play again this season after both suffered serious injuries. 

Finally, we all know Stafford will play if there is any way he can get out on the football field. 

I want to see how he finishes up his season since he has played well following the dismissal of former head coach Matt Patricia.

Chirco: How the young players play. How will Quintez Cephus and Hunter Bryant look with more reps? How about Austin Bryant and Julian Okwara? Will D'Andre Swift continue to excel? 

It's all about building for 2021 at this point. So, I definitely want to see them get an increased amount of reps in the next two weeks. 

4.) In a season of chaos, what was the most chaotic thing that happened to the Lions in 2020?

Maakaron: It really has felt like one chaotic mess of a season for the Detroit Lions. 

I think Matthew Stafford's two close calls with coronavirus placed the team in quite the predicament on both occasions. 

First, Stafford and Detroit dealt with a false positive COVID-19 test during the preseason. Later, Stafford was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list during the season after being classified as a 'high-risk, close contact' from a non-team member back in November. 

With two games remaining, it does feel like the league has been lucky to head towards the successful completion of the 2020 season. 

Chirco: I know it's not one just "thing." But, I'd like to say the events that have gone down this week. From the firing of special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs Monday to the repercussions of a positive COVID-19 case with the coaching staff that have caused interim head man Darrell Bevell to be unable to coach Saturday, it's been the definition of chaotic. 

Then, it all just had to happen the week of Christmas, during a year in which COVID has affected the lives of so many in one way or another.

So, for me, it's the myriad of unforeseen events that have transpired this week -- easily the most chaotic week since I started covering the team for SI All Lions.

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