| Detroit Free Press
Do Detroit Lions have any good reason to start Matthew Stafford again?
Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez, Free Press’ reporters who cover the Detroit Lions, debate if the team should start Matthew Stafford again this year.
Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press
Detroit Lions president Rod Wood was a guest Friday morning on “Stoney and Jansen with Heather” on 97.1 The Ticket (WXYT-FM).
One of the primary reasons for the appearance was to announce that the Lions are returning to WXYT as the flagship station. But as the team searches for a new general manager and coach, there were many things to discuss.
Wood addressed a number of other topics:
On the search for a new coach/GM
“I’ve been spending a lot of time, along with Chris (Spielman) and Mike Disner and Sheila (Ford Hamp), really looking at all the candidates that we’re hearing about. There’s all kinds of sources of information from other teams and agents and people that are sharing information with us, including our search committee that’s been very helpful. And trying to identify people who want to talk to. Some we can talk to now, because they’re not attached to a team. Some we have to wait until the season’s over with. And just restacking and prioritizing the list of coaches and general managers.”
On how this search is different from past searches
“One of the things that I think we’re doing differently that didn’t occur, at least in the searches I was involved in with Bob and Matt is really identifying what we want for a Detroit Lion coach and general manager. Not what some other team may want, but what do the Detroit Lions want? So we’ve been discussing and detailing a lot of very specific criteria that is unique to us and hopefully will fit a person that we find and we feel that that’s the person. And I don’t know whether that’ll take a month or two months or weeks, but when we find the person, hopefully they match up with the criteria we’ve developed and they’re going to be the right person for us and not the right person for some other team.”
On the interview process
“Everything until the season ends is dictated by the league to be done via Zoom. … Once the season ends, whenever that is for each team, including us, after the playoffs in some cases, at the end of the regular season in other cases, then we can start meeting with people face to face. But until then, it’s all Zoom.”
On whether he will be involved in football decisions going forward
“That’s the way it was and that’s the way it will be. There’s a reporting structure, but there’s not a meddling structure, I guess, if that’s the answer to the question. I don’t involve myself in any of those decisions anymore than Sheila does. We hire people that are experts at that and we let them do their jobs.”
On how Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp will be different than her parents
“Once we get back to normal, she’ll be around the building and helping set the culture and being visible, and trying to learn as much as she can. She’s sitting in on all the interviews that we’ve done thus far and the ones that are ahead of us. I think she’s going to be really good for the organization, externally and internally, because she’s going to be present and involved and connected. That’s important to everybody, not just the people in the building but the fans and people that we’re trying to attract to join the organization. They want to know who the owner is and how the owner’s committed, and I think that’s going to be great.”
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On the difficulty of finding the right candidate based on their criteria
“It’s hard. And it’s an exhaustive process. … I just kind of keep collecting information and talking to people that I trust and then re-stacking the people as I said, in terms of a priority. And hopefully once we meet them it will become really clear. All I’m doing right now is hearing first-hand or second-hand or third-hand information about people, and I think once you meet them you’ll have a sense, ‘This is the person for us.'”
“This has only been, it seems like a year but it’s only been a couple weeks and my day usually starts with a 4 a.m. text from Chris with an idea that he’s thought of overnight, and I don’t think he was texting me as soon as he woke up. I think he’s been up for a while. So we started off at 4 a.m., and I’ve already talked to him twice this morning and it’s not even 8:15 yet.”
On how strongly the Lions considered a QB in the 2020 NFL draft
“Certainly, we evaluate every position and every position is put up on the draft board, and the selection that we made was based upon what we thought was the best thing for the Detroit Lions this season. Whether a quarterback gets drafted next year or the year after, will be the decision we make that’s the best for the Detroit Lions next year or the year after. And I know there’s a lot of speculation about the quarterbacks that were taken and the quarterbacks that we didn’t take, and Matthew (Stafford’s) health and his age. But he’s our quarterback and he’s still playing at a very high level. But we’ll eventually have to make a decision about drafting somebody, and when we do we’ll have hopefully the right team in place to evaluate those quarterbacks at the time and make the right pick for the Detroit Lions.”
Contact Dave Birkett at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.