Detroit Lions might end up trading Patriot Way for the Rams Standard

Detroit Free Press

Jeff Seidel
 
| Detroit Free Press

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It’s a simple, short video.

Just 2 minutes, 44 seconds.

But it offers an some insight into Brad Holmes, who is a finalist for the Detroit Lions general manager position. Holmes, the Los Angeles Rams director of college scouting, will meet with the Lions for an in-person interview Wednesday.

Holmes has completed a virtual interview with the Lions and is believed to be the first in-person interview.

So who is this guy and how does his brain work?

The video from the 2019 draft offers clues.

Holmes describes what he is looking for: Smart, instinctive, explosive players.

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And you might say, well, duh, everybody wants players like that.

But how many players on the Lions’ roster last season would you call instinctive?

Or even explosive?

In the video, Holmes stresses the need for teamwork between scouts, the front office and the coaching staff — something the Lions have said they want in their next GM.

But there’s something else. Something that will raise eyebrows.

Holmes talks about the “Rams Standard.”

Now, I know what you are thinking. The Lions just got rid of the Patriot Way — that was an abject failure. Why in the world would the Lions bring in somebody who comes from the Rams Standard?

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But you can relax. The Rams Standard sounds a heck of a lot better than the Patriot Way. Besides, we all know, now, that the Patriot Way was two people: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. And nobody else.

“Well, the standard is, first of all, we want to get passionate players,” Holmes says in the video. “We always talk about being good teammates, being a connected team. We talk about being relentless. You know, we want smart players, instinctive players, explosive players. And those are the kind of pillars that we look for in football players for the Rams. You’re smart, you’re instinctive, explosive. You know, those are those that are our core components, critical factors that we look for.”

I don’t know if the Lions will offer the job to Holmes — he has also interviewed for the Atlanta Falcons job.

Or if he would even be a good GM.

But I like what he’s talking about.

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Do you remember the Bob Quinn way? He took Jahlani Tavai in the second round because he “fit” the Patriots, whoops, I mean Matt Patricia’s defense.

“That’s a position we really wanted to address,” Quinn said, at the time. “Like I said, not giving you every detail of what our draft board looks like, but linebackers that play in this defense that are really very, very good natural fits, there’s only a couple every year. So you wait a year, you don’t get one, you might not get him next year, you might not get him the year after. So this guy was a guy that we had targeted early on, I’d say as early as October.”

Give me instinctual. Give me smart. Give me relentless.

Don’t give me a guy who is a reach and “fits” a system.

But there’s more to like about Holmes in the video.

He also talks about finding players late in the draft or undrafted free agents.

“The undrafted free agency process is — that’s really where you can win,” Holmes says. “You know, you really can win with the undrafted free agent process.”

How do they do it?

“The coaches and scouts collaborate as one,” he says. “They invest in terms of the film time. They call the agents. So it’s buy-in from both parts. We’re not bringing in kids that the coach wasn’t really that high on or the scout really, so it’s a total buy-in process. From the first draft pick to the last undrafted free agent, it’s a great team process.”

In essence, he is talking about the total organization being in sync.

That might sound elementary — of course, you want everybody working together. But it’s actually something the Lions are searching for — and if I had to guess, that tells me that has been missing.

And it’s a trait Lions president Rod Wood is searching for.

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“I won’t share all of them with you,” Wood said. “But I would say they focus on leadership, culture, teamwork, awareness of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and what we’re really looking for is a culture that is open, inclusive, where everybody is pulling together as a team, and in one word, communication is paramount and everybody is doing the right thing for the Detroit Lions.”

I’m not sure if Holmes is the best candidate.

But I understand why the Lions are bringing in him for a second interview.

And if you zoom back and look at the big picture, it offers a clue into what the Lions are looking for in this process. Somebody who can bring the whole organization together while finding football players — explosive, instinctual, relentless football players.

And that idea is easy to like.

Watch the video of Holmes on the Rams website here.

Contact Jeff Seidel: jseidel@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @seideljeff. To read his recent columns, go to freep.com/sports/jeff-seidel.

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