In less than a 48-hour stretch last week, the Detroit Lions announced the hiring of general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell. Those two men are now entrusted with trying to usher in a new era in Detroit Lions football.
Holmes has deep roots in scouting, coming over to Detroit after a very successful 18-year career in the Rams scouting department. Campbell, a former tight end in the NFL, has been Sean Payton's right-hand man in New Orleans the last five seasons.
The relationship between the general manager and the head coach in any NFL organization is the most crucial. One is the face of the franchise, and the other is entrusted with finding the players and building a roster that the head coach and his staff can develop and cultivate.
Campbell said he and Holmes hit it off right away in their phone conversations, and knew early on their vision for the Lions was very much in line.
"We began this process of talking to each other and since then we've been talking and communicating every day and we bounce everything off each other," Campbell told detroitlions.com. "He has been better than advertised. You talk about a fit, he and I see things very much alike. We see the makeup of a player, makeup of the roster in general, going down the road what we may see it as, what's most important, the vision of a player, so this is going to be great because I feel like we see eye to eye on so many things."
Both Campbell and Holmes talked about having no egos, and how that was a big influence the Saints and Rams had on them. They talked about how collaboration was so important in those franchises.
"He's all about, 'Dan, what can I do to help you?'" Campbell said. "I'm like, 'What can I do to help you?' I've already told him that anybody I hire for my staff, I'm not hiring them until Brad okays. I don't have to do that, and he's already told me the same thing on his end, and I want it to be that way. I want open dialogue."
Holmes and Campbell used the term retool when talking about upcoming roster decisions this offseason. Both like some of the core pieces Detroit has in place, but they'll dig into that much more thoroughly in the coming days and weeks. This will be a crucial first offseason for both men as they try to take the right first steps to turn around a five-win Lions team that hasn't been to the playoffs since 2016.
"When you have a vision, you have a clear picture where you want somebody to be, or what you want it to look like, Brad's got that," Campbell said. "I'm that way, too. He's an out-of-the-box thinker, no different than I am. That's exactly what this is about – the collaboration.
"We're in this thing together. I think it's important and that's how you win. This is a marriage. So we're going to make this thing work."