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Holmes reflects on first six months as Lions GM

Brad Holmes was hired by the Detroit Lions to be their new general manager on Jan. 14.

In a little under six months, Holmes has accomplished a lot in Detroit. He navigated the team through a blockbuster trade that sent quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for quarterback Jared Goff and two first-round picks in his first couple weeks on the job.

He's guided the team through free agency and the NFL Draft, and he's pressing forward to the start of training camp later this summer after overseeing the offseason training program that had terrific participation from Lions players.

There have been a lot of firsts for Holmes as GM over the last five and a half months, but what has been the hardest part of Holmes' job so far?

View some of the best photos from Lions offseason workouts, OTAs and rookie minicamp.

"The most difficult part, I'd say, is finding the time and carving out the time to do the pure evaluation and scouting of football part of it," Holmes told in a recent interview.

It was the pure scouting where Holmes made his mark in the Rams organization over the last 18 years as a scouting assistant, combine scout, area scout, national scout and then as director of college scouting the last eight seasons before accepting the Lions GM job this offseason.

Holmes learned rather quickly after becoming Detroit's GM that things come across his desk on a daily basis that need his attention, and a lot of it doesn't always involve scouting.

"Now that's why you have to have a great staff around you that you really, really trust," Holmes said. "I do think we have that with Ray Agnew and Lance Newmark and John Dorsey. You trust those guys to make sure that when you can't get to it, those guys you know are taking care of it and getting to it."

Holmes said he learned by the third week that if he didn't get to the office by 5 a.m. it was hard to get some of the things he wanted to work on done that day along with all the other stuff that came up.

"I started talking to other GMs about it and then they say, 'oh yeah, between the hours of 8-5 you aren't getting a whole lot of football stuff done," Holmes said.

Holmes said he wrote down all the things he planned to do on a certain day, and at the conclusion of the day wrote out what his schedule actually turned into.

"Things are a lot smoother now," Holmes said. "And I think we have a great staff and a great process in place. I've been able to get down (to some of the stuff I want to get to).

"But we've been very, very busy still just with staffing, process planning and getting new systems in place."

Holmes has enjoyed every minute on the job and is settling in nicely. It's been an interesting and busy first half of 2021 for Holmes and the Lions, and he's looking forward to the start of training camp.

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