It’s rare as sports fans that we have a few comfortable. This is why few things feel better than the comfort that comes with knowing that you have a general manager who knows what he’s doing. That’s the case with Brad Holmes. Sheila Ford Hamp deserves a lot of credit for deciding to bring this guy to run the Detroit Lions. Regardless of what happens on Sunday, the job that Brad Holmes has done rebuilding the Detroit Lions is up there amongst some of the greatest general managing jobs that the city of Detroit has ever seen. No fan base deserves it more.
For the longest time, the issue in Detroit was always the Ford family. It was the Ford family because the Ford family hired buffoons. The string of incompetent GMs and coaches they brought in was historic. You have to intentionally try to be that bad at your job to not fall into one GM who might have a clue about how to build a championship core. Yeah, they made the playoffs a few times, but nothing was ever sustainable. This feels sustainable.
One of the top signs that a GM knows what he's doing is that he's willing to take risks that pay off. Do the Texans deserve credit for taking C.J. Stroud? Absolutely, but any team needing a quarterback would've taken Stroud after Bryce Young was off the board last year. We have seen teams fall into generational talent only to squander it because they don't give them anything to work with. Holmes's decision to build through the trenches was ingenious. They've built an O-line that's kept Jared Goff upright, but people quickly forget that many were skeptical about last year's draft.
The Lions traded up to get Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round in 2023, a pick that a lot of people raised eyebrows at. They drafted Sam Laporta in the second round, and while people thought he might be productive, some felt like they may have reached a little bit too high for him. Gibbs looks like he will be an electric running back here for the next several years, and Sam Laporta is already one of the best tight ends in football. He's gotten value out of players that he's drafted in the later drafts; he and Dan Campbell have turned Detroit into a place that free agents want to play. This was a graveyard for a long time; now it's the place to be. ￼
I often roll my eyes at whether or not a coach or executive must represent the city. I don't care if you have the personality of a grapefruit; just win games. With that said, the fact that Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes are two of the most certified dudes that ever duded makes this process way more fun. I'm trying not to look too far ahead, but a parade featuring Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell would be the most electric shit ever. It's not impossible at this point. Go beat the Niners.