Brad Holmes, the new general manager of the Detroit Lions, isn’t fond of the word “rebuild”. He prefers to call it a “retool.”
Whatever the monumental project ahead of him is called, Holmes has the daunting task of turning around a roster short on draft capital and salary cap space going into the 2021 season. Let’s discuss the good and bad news for him and head coach Dan Campbell to deal with this offseason.
The aftermath of the failed 2020 campaign, a 5-11 record, has been a wholesale change of almost every decisionmaker employed by the franchise. Only Rod Wood remains to serve owner Sheila Ford Hamp as she is attempting to make her mark on the team and hopefully the NFL landscape.
The new coaching hires have mostly been well received, especially by Lions fans, starting with former Lions tight end and now head coach, Dan Campbell, who promised tenacity that includes “biting opponents’ kneecaps off.” While mocked outside of the Motor City, Campbell knows how to speak to a fanbase hungry for some gridiron glory.
A string of other former NFL players, many of whom were coveted in NFL coaching circles, have followed Campbell to Detroit, as well. Aaron Glenn, Anthony Lynn, Duce Staley, Mark Brunell, Hank Fraley, and most recently Antwan Randle-El have all bought into Campbell’s infectious enthusiasm.
While the process that collected the front office and coaching brain trust was extensive and fruitful, they certainly have their work cut out for them. Their arrivals, and the process enacted by the franchise, are some good news for fans.