Detroit Lions bringing GM candidate Brad Holmes back for second interview

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
 
| Detroit Free Press

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The Detroit Lions are closing in on making a general manager hire and they are bringing their first known finalist to town for an interview.

Los Angeles Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes will meet with the Lions for an in-person interview Wednesday. ESPN first reported news of the interview.

Holmes interviewed via Zoom with the Lions last week. He also is a finalist for the vacant Atlanta Falcons GM job, where he reportedly had a second interview over the weekend.

Holmes, who lives in Atlanta, has spent 18 seasons with the Rams, rising from a personnel department intern to one of the most trusted members of Les Snead’s front office.

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As an intern, Holmes, whose uncle, Luther Bradley, was the Lions’ first-round pick in 1978, told the Tampa Bay Times his job responsibilities included “picking up guys from the airport, fetching coffee, making copies.

More recently, he has run the Rams’ last eight drafts and helped keep L.A. a playoff contender — the Rams beat the Seattle Seahawks in a wildcard game last week — despite not having a first-round pick since 2016.

“He’s a sharp young man, extreme attention to detail. Very personable. Demands quality work out of his scouts,” said former Rams vice president of player personnel Tony Softli, Holmes’ one-time boss in St. Louis. “I’m glad he’s getting his name out there. I think there’s a couple guys that are probably going to be ahead of him from an experience standpoint, but if you want a young go-getter, align things up right and work with the coaches, the trainers, the communications department, the equipment guy, all that. He’s one of those guys, for sure.”

The Lions completed their first round of GM interviews on Tuesday with Indianapolis Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds, the 12th known candidate they have met with about the job.

In-house candidates Kyle O’Brien, Lance Newmark and Rob Lohman interviewed in December, as did ESPN analyst Louis Riddick and ex-GMs Thomas Dimitroff, Rick Smith and Scott Pioli.

Minnesota Vikings assistant GM George Paton and New Orleans Saints assistant GMs Jeff Ireland and Terry Fontenot also have interviewed for the job.

Paton, who works for Lions adviser Chris Spielman’s brother, Rick, in Minnesota, and Fontenot are reportedly finalists for the Denver Broncos GM job, and Fontenot and Smith join Holmes as finalists in Atlanta.

The Lions hope to meet with multiple GM finalists in person before making a hire.

Executives on teams still alive in the playoffs cannot meet in person with teams unless they work primarily outside of the team facility, like Holmes. Fontenot and Ireland are based in New Orleans and not allowed to meet in person until after their season.

The Saints play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFC divisional game Sunday

On Tuesday, the Lions also announced their sixth known head coaching interview, with Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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