| The Detroit News
Ed Dodds makes a dozen, and unless the Detroit Lions unexpectedly add another name to the mix, he will likely be the final candidate the franchise interviews for its general manager vacancy.
The Indianapolis Cots assistant general manager interviewed Tuesday. Now the Lions can narrow their extensive list of options down to a couple for a second round of in-person interviews ahead of a final decision to replace Bob Quinn.
Dodds joined Chris Ballard’s staff in Indianapolis in 2017 after spending 10 years with the Seattle Seahawks. The decision wasn’t easy, but he was driven by the opportunity to test himself outside of the comfort zone of the stability he had found in Seattle.
“How do you get up and look at yourself in the mirror, just making the comfortable choice?” Dodds told The Athletic in a 2019 interview. “You just bet on yourself, and the way you work. Even if they fired us all two years in, the experience of having to build from the ground up, installing the system, getting people to buy in, all of that, and then learning how to do it in less than ideal conditions.”
During the four-year stint with the Colts, the franchise has been successful, qualifying for the postseason twice. They went 11-5 in 2020, prior to losing to the Buffalo Bills in the wild-card round of the playoffs.
Despite the sudden retirement of star quarterback Andrew Luck prior to the 2019 campaign, the Colts front office has built one of the league’s most complete rosters using the draft, free-agent signings and trades.
The best work has been the reshaping of the team’s offensive line, highlighted by the selections of guard Quenton Nelson and tackle Braden Smith in recent drafts.
Defensively, the Colts made a bold trade this offseason, sending their first-round pick to San Francisco in exchange for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, while adding cornerback Xavier Rhodes in free agency.
The moves resulted in the Colts finishing in the top-10 in yards and points on both sides of the ball this past season.
While with Seattle, Dodds worked his way up from the lower levels of the pro personnel department to a senior executive on general manager John Schneider’s staff. During Dodds’ decade with the franchise, the team qualified for the postseason seven times, appeared in two Super Bowls, winning one in 2014.
In Seattle, Dodds worked with two of Detroit’s head-coaching candidates, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and Lions interim coach Darrell Bevell.
Dodds, long projected to be a future GM, has been selective about his opportunities. He recently withdrew his name from consideration for the Carolina Panthers’ opening after interviewing with the franchise.
“You’re gonna get one chance to do it,” told The Athletic. “And I don’t wanna do it until I’m overprepared.”
Along with Dodds, the Lions have interviewed three internal candidates — Kyle O’Brien, Lance Newmark, Rod Lohman — and eight other external options. That group is made up of former Texans general manager Rick Smith, ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, former Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, Saints assistant general manager Terry Fontenot, Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes, Saints assistant general manager Jeff Ireland and Vikings assistant general manager George Paton.
The Lions also have reportedly expressed interest in Schneider, the Seahawks general manager, as well as Kevin Colbert, the team’s former director of pro scouting who is currently working as the GM of the Steelers.
Schneider agreed to an extension with the Seahawks on Tuesday, eliminating that possibility, while there’s been no known movement on setting up an interview with Colbert.