Notes: Peter King notices Brad Holmes’ unique relationship with players

Pride of Detroit

It’s one thing to respect a general manager, but it’s an entirely different thing to like them.

The latter seems to be the case in many Detroit Lions players’ relationships with GM Brad Holmes. In Peter King’s Football Morning in America published earlier Monday, the writer mentions observing something unusual at an OTA workout in May. As about 50 players left the field, King said he noticed Lion after Lion making it a point to greet Holmes, who was standing near the edge of the field.

“‘Bossman!’ one said with a big hug. Fifteen, 20 players embraced or bro-hugged or fist-bumped, some stopping for five seconds, some for a minute. This was not the dog days of training camp, or a Wednesday practice with the team on a four-game losing streak, but still it was a little unusual to see this affection for a general manager. PDAs with GMs are not all that common in the world I cover,” King explained.

Later, the writer asked Holmes about it. The GM explained the franchise has some good men who are there for the right reasons, working hard. They’re invested and they really, really want to win. But conversations between Holmes and the player extend beyond the field.

“Sometimes we talk about deeper things. I’ll tell them about books I’ve read, lessons I’ve learned. I care about them as people,” Holmes told King.

The writer notes that while liking the GM won’t translate to wins, it does say something about the culture of the team. That’s consistently been a huge part of the conversation when it comes to this new regime — changing the Lions culture. So far, so good.

“With Campbell and Holmes, I think the best way to describe it is: We’re never taking a play off, we’re going to import players who love to play, we’re going to be very physical, we’re going to stay together, and nobody’s going to make an excuse,” King writes.

Jeremy also wrote about how Dan Campbell spoke to King, comparing the Lions to the long-shot Kentucky Derby winner Strike and explaining how the Same Old Lions mantra only fuels him. You can read that here.

And on to the rest of your notes.

  • NFL analyst Bucky Brooks chose one “chaos” team for each division who could surprise and shake things up this season. Detroit was an easy pick for the NFC North. “The Lions’ scrappy group could create headaches for opponents who fail to bring their ‘A’ game.”
  • Barry Sanders turned 54 over the weekend. Happy Birthday!
  • Pro Football Network allows readers to submit their own 2023 mock drafts. They put together an article featurings the player most people picked for that team. You’ll find the Lions at No. 13
  • If you’ve ever wondered where the NFL is heading, or at least where it wants to head in terms of reaching as many fans as possible, check out this Sports Illustrated guest column from the league’s chief media and business officer Brian Rolapp. ($)

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