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Spielman talks Hamp's involvement, roster building & more

The collaboration throughout the Detroit Lions' franchise that general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell are working to achieve extends to the top of the franchise.

Sheila Ford Hamp, who was elevated to principal owner and chairman last June, has been sitting in on player personnel meetings as the Lions prepare for free agency and the draft in the coming months.

It should not be a surprise, given that Hamp said she wanted to take a "deep dive" into familiarizing herself with all the departments when she was elevated to the top spot in the franchise last June.

Chris Spielman, who was hired in December as a special assistant to Hamp and team president Rod Wood, sees Hamp's involvement as a good thing.

"Sheila's been involved by being in all these personnel meetings," Spielman said Tuesday morning in an interview on 97.1 The Ticket. "She sat in on two days of offensive free agent meetings and two days of defensive free agent meetings.

"It's cool to see the commitment she has."

Holmes and Campbell are still the decision makers, Spielman said.

"It has to be that way," Spielman said. "It can't be any other way, but it's in collaboration. Everybody understands, Brad and Dan, it's on them. They've got to sign their names on that."

Spielman touched on a number of topics, including the addition of quarterback Jared Goff in a reported trade that would send Matthew Stafford to the Rams; the value of wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who is eligible to become a free agent; the philosophy of building a team through the draft; and the timetable for the Lions becoming winners.

Spielman's comments:

On Jared Goff: "You look at a guy like Jared Goff, there are a lot of good things you like about him. His accuracy. His toughness. He's a hard working guy."

On Golladay: "Kenny is a competitive guy. The thing I always admired about Kenny from doing the games on TV is his ability to win the 50-50 ball. I just think his size, and what he can bring to the table is something a lot of people like about Kenny Golladay, including me."

On free agency vs. the draft: "There are a lot of ideas around here, and it's kind of an opposite theory with how the Lions used to be very active in free agency.

"You can fill in voids in free agency, but you can't buy a locker room. What I believe is building a team through the draft. It's draft, develop and re-sign. And hopefully, that's the direction the Lions will take.

"Everyone understands that the most successful teams are built through the draft. Get your core players and try to re-sign those guys to a second contract.

"Then when you get to a certain point, you want to be active in free agency. Right now, if you want to establish a core group of guys, it has to be done through the draft."

On a change in defensive philosophy: "I have a theory that back when I played, you used to build from the inside out. In today's league, I think you build from the outside in."

Spielman had high praise for two of the Lions' young cornerbacks -- Amani Oruwariye and Jeff Okudah.

On the timeline for winning: "I feel like we're giving ourselves the best chance to win as soon as possible. I don't know when that will be, but I'm very confident it will happen."

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