| The Detroit News
When the Detroit Lions made the somewhat surprising decision to release big-play receiver Marvin Hall over the weekend, the most popular question among fans wasn’t, “Why?”, it was “Who is making these decisions?”
That’s a valid concern given the team fired general manager Bob Quinn a week earlier. During the virtual press conference to announce those changes, owner Sheila Ford Hamp offered a brief explanation of the temporary power structure of the franchise’s front office, which placed president Rod Wood at the top of the chain of command.
“Our football executives, including (vice president of player personnel) Kyle O’Brien, (director of player personnel) Lance Newmark, (director of pro scouting) Rob Lohman and (vice president of football administration) Mike Disner, will report directly to Rod Wood for the balance of this season as we analyze our organizational structure and evaluate candidates for our general manager position,” Ford Hamp said.
On Monday, when asked about the decision to part with Hall, interim head coach Darrell Bevell offered a little more insight into the process, which made it sound more like a roundtable discussion.
“I don’t even know what the shape would be that we would call it, but we have our personnel group that’s left over,” Bevell said. “They really do a great job with Kyle, Lance and Rob, and then Rod Wood is involved in it and Mike Disner. The five of them and myself, we did have a lot of discussions about the roster. Really, I think it’s been great communication. It was basically on a daily basis, in terms of future roster moves, but also the more recent stuff, like who was going to be active for the game, who is not going to be active.”
Asked to clarify Wood’s voice in roster moves, given he hadn’t previously dipped much into the organization’s football operations, Bevell said, “Well, I mean he’s definitely in the conservation, yes.”
Prior to Quinn’s dismissal, O’Brien was No. 2 on the front office’s depth chart, directly behind the GM and ahead of Newmark and Lohman, while Disner’s focus was primarily on cap management and contract negotiation.
It’s unlikely that Wood has suddenly interjected himself into personnel conversations, but someone needs to green light the moves after factoring in Bevell’s needs, the personnel staff’s recommendations and any potential cap and cash ramifications provided by Disner.
As for the actual reason Hall was let go, Bevell didn’t have much to say other than sometimes the decisions go beyond skill sets.
“Marvin is a guy that I really enjoyed having on our team,” Bevell said. “He’s a guy that I have a lot of respect for. He came in early in the season last year and he’s made some big plays for us. But there’s a lot that goes into it, in terms of roster spots and more than just play on the field.
“We just made a decision to move on,” Bevell continued. “We have Mohamed Sanu. I think he came in and you kinda saw what he was able to do, made really some big plays for us. I do wish Marvin, MH we call him, the best of luck. Like I told him, I know he’s going to end up on a roster somewhere.”
In 11 games for the Lions, including five starts, Hall caught 17 passes for 290 yards and two scores. Sanu got the start Sunday against the Bears, playing 40 snaps. He caught both passes thrown his direction for 36 yards.