‘That guy freakin cares!’ How love and culture is propelling Brad Holmes and the Lions


By the way, you can see that reverence even more when you see things like Holmes putting leis on Penei Sewell before his extension press conference this past week. Who does that? 

Seriously, who does that? Who cares about a player enough to tear up when he talk’s about him, make him the highest paid player at his position and then honor his culture by not only putting leis on him, but the detail of knowing which leis to get to put on him. I ask because I’ve never seen it before. Especially in Detroit. 

The attention to detail on culture goes farther than the stuff that we already know. Like, we already know that when the Lions draft a player or acquire a player, they’re looking for fit before they’re looking for ability. Meaning you need to be a fit and have ability to make it here. You can’t just have ability. Turns out those ideals aren’t just limited to the players. 

“You got to build the thing right from top to bottom.” Cabinda said. “That’s just how it works. That’s how you build championship culture. And Dan and Brad have really done such a good job of making sure that everybody from players to coaches to support staff, strength coaches to nutrition. Everybody is on the same page and is the same level of character, level of care and stuff like that. And to them that matters more than anything.”

I’ve been covering this team for 10 years and I was here for Jim Caldwell and Matt Patricia. While I’m not always there, not once have I walked into the building and felt an aura of love and comradery like I do now. Its’ trickled down to the media too. It feels good to be at Allen Park or Ford Field. Winning cures a lot, but the love cures even more. That’s exactly what’s happening in Detroit. Love is making this team better. 

It’s not just the GM’s and coaches though. The players have been taking it upon themselves to get closer than ever before. 

“It comes from spending time outside of the building.” Cabinda said. “You know, teams that don’t hang out with each other. I mean, everything can’t just be work because if everything is just work, then it’s easy to not necessarily care about somebody because everything is just your job. When you’re going out and you’re having dinners, you go out have a couple of drinks with guys, you play golf, things of that nature. You get an opportunity to really dive deeper into somebody to learn about them to learn about how they grew up, where they’re from, what their college experience was like, their family, do they have kids, you learn the names of their kids, what their kids are up to, you know, that’s what it takes. 

I mean, anytime you get a relationship with a girl, you got to put time into it, right? It’s no different with your teammates. You know, if you want to get closer with your teammates, you want to have a close team, you got to put in time, you got to put the effort in. I really felt like that was the case, especially last year. You know, so I truly believe that’s why we’re so close and I think that’s why we played so hard for each other.” 

If this culture can sustain, which there’s really no reason to believe it won’t, this is the type of thing that you can build dynasty’s on. It’s the kind of thing you can keep together for a long time if you keep practicing the culture. It’s a whole new world in Detroit. 

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