ALLEN PARK – Brad Holmes once worked for Enterprise Rental Car because he couldn’t find a job in the NFL. He then began working in public relations for the Atlanta Hawks.
In 2003, he finally infiltrated the NFL as an intern in the St. Louis Rams Public Relations Department.
Now, 18 years later, he is set to become the next general manager of the Detroit Lions.
Holmes is expected to sign a five-year deal to replace Bob Quinn in Detroit, according to numerous reports. He became the Lions̵
He was a key figure in landing major drafts as two-time NFL quarterback Aaron Donald – after the Lions handed him over to Eric Ebron – 2017 offensive player of the year Todd Garley and two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Jared Goff. This group won an NFC championship in 2017, unleashed a fourth straight winning season this year and simply beat the Seahawks 30-20 in a wild card game over the weekend. They will travel to Green Bay on Saturday to face the Packers in the playoff division, a round the Lions have not seen since the 1991 season.
The Lions are now handing over their chase to their first playoff win of the season to Holmes. He was selected by a group of 12 candidates who interviewed for the position, an exhaustive search that tripled the pool produced by Bob Quinn in 2016 and ended with one of the worst regimes in franchise history. Quinn and Matt Patricia were fired after the loss of Thanksgiving left the so-called Quintrisha era only 19-23-1.
“I think after going through the (hiring process) twice, there are things I’ve learned and things we hope will do better,” said team president Rod Wood recently. one of the things is adding more people to the process. “
This included Lions Country, where Wood and owner Sheela Ford Hump led the search but brought in outside voices by hiring Chris Spielman as a full-time advisor and part-time consultant such as the Hall of Fame, returning Barry Sanders, former Michigan State Athletics Director Mark Hollis and former Cardinal General Manager Rod Graves.
The Lions also expanded the pool by interviewing people such as Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds, former Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, former Texas general manager Rick Smith, former assistant general manager Scott Piodli, analyst Saints General Manager for Personnel Professionals Terry Fontenott, Rams College Scout Director Brad Holmes, Viking Assistant General Manager George Patton, Saints Assistant General Manager Jeff Ireland and internal candidates Rob Lohmann, Lance Newmark and .
Patton, who worked under Spielman’s brother in Minnesota, was the only candidate recruited to Alan Park for the first round of interviews and was considered a favorite. But he agreed to a six-year deal with Denver, and Detroit turned its attention to Holmes.
Holmes was the only candidate recruited for a second interview. The Atlanta Falcons also harassed him severely, interviewing him twice, but he eventually agreed to take the job in Detroit instead.
Football runs in Holmes’ blood. His father, Mel, was a guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His uncle, Luther Bradley, was the first round of the Lions in 1978. And Brad Holmes continued this tradition by playing defensive battles at the North Carolina A&T.
But his jump to the business side of the game was not easy. He had so much trouble landing this first job that he spent some time working at the Enterprise Rental Car, then working in public relations for the Atlanta Hawks. He took another PR internship at St. Louis Rams in 2003 before embarking on a scout internship for the following project. His responsibilities include making coffee, running the boys to / from the airport and making copies.
Less than two decades later, he became the last of a long line of first-time general managers tasked with rebuilding Detroit Lions after more than six decades of interrupted failure. This is a daunting task, made more of a list that fell apart during the failed import of the Patriot Way.
The Lions almost set the franchise record for yards allowed in the 2019 season, and then actually set the record in 2020. These are two of the three worst defenses in franchise history, back-to-back, and now they have only five pickaxes and a shrink cap to meet their significant needs – none of which even consider asking questions about what to do with quarterback Matthew Stafford and recipient Kenny Goladay, the latter of whom is eligible to become a free agent. in March.
For now, the focus will be on pairing Holmes with the right-handed head coach. The Lions said they envisioned a partnership between their new CEO and coach, rather than a top-down reporting structure. The hiring of Holmes was done independently of the head coach and Sheila Ford Hamp, not Holmes, is expected to pick the next signal.
Given Holmes’ inexperience – he is a GM for the first time, just like all his predecessors in Detroit – it would not be a surprise to see the Lions chase an experienced head coach. The most experienced candidate the Lions have interviewed is former Bengali Marvin Lewis. Other candidates who have served as head coaches include Saints assistant head coach Dan Campbell (formerly the interim HC in Miami) and Lions interim head coach Daryl Bevel. Detroit has also asked to speak with former Jets director Todd Bowles, although that conversation has not yet taken place.
Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith has no experience as a head coach, but has already received his first (and only) second interview with Detroit. Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemi and 49ers Defense Coordinator Robert Saleh also interviewed for the position.