Giving Credit for the Thorough Coach/GM Search

I have to say, I am impressed by the thorough nature of the Coach and GM search this time around. The last time we were doing our Coach search, I’d say I was about 80% convinced it was Matt Patricia before the thing even kicked off. This wasn’t rocket science, it just made a ton of sense and most of the board leaned that way as well.

If you had to ask me this time (before the search started), I’d say we would have picked SOME GM, and then offered Saleh or Bieniemy without a lot of searching. I am not a pro, I just lurk on this board a lot and can see some tea leaves. The Lions have tended to make up their minds before the search starts in the past.

It seems like this time, they are ACTUALLY being thorough. MANY GM candidates, with different ties, experience levels, etctera. MANY coaching candidates, from different coach trees, etc.

I appreciate it. Of course, we can’t know if it will work. With our history, the odds aren’t great. BUT. It seems like they are really putting the work in, and hopefully that leads to good results.

I wanted to give some credit to Sheila, Rod Wood, Spielman, whoever is directing this. Because I actually have a little faith in the process.

This is scary for me (having some faith and hope), but what the heck. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 97,563 times, shame on me. I’m a believer in the process at this point.


She was accurate when she said they would not leave any stone unturned for sure.

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Please, baby Jesus…let ‘em pick us a winnin’ coach.



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Agreed. The Lions seem to have talked to a lot of people at this point, a FAR different story than 2016. I found this article from 2016:
While the search seemed fast – the Lions made the hire five days after the season – there was a long head start due to Mayhew’s midseason firing. Accorsi would not say how many candidates were interviewed and wouldn’t say how many people they vetted. Lions interim general manager Sheldon White, Seattle’s Trent Kirchner and the New York Giants’ Kevin Abrams were the other candidates who were reportedly contacted by the Lions."

It seems this GM search is MUCH more thorough than 2016 with Ernie self-selecting and the NFL also playing a role. This time around I can think of Scott P., Thomas D., Rick Smith, Paton, Ed Dodds, Schneider, the fella from Pittsburg and likely others I am forgetting about. Jeff Ireland, Louis Riddick, Terry Fontenot and maybe others. Three in house guys I think. That is at least ten people the Lions themselves have talked to (or will talk to) about their GM opening. The Lions are also taking next steps to talk to coaches themselves outside the GM candidates to get a sense of who these guys are too. That seems smart to me.

I see guys from the Seattle/Colts (Dodd), Steeler, Vikings, Saints, Patriots/Falcons/Chiefs and Texans trees here. It is hard to NOT see this as a thorough search.

The final decision could still screw this up BIG TIME but hell, we pried Dodds off the couch for an interview and that seems like good news in and of itself.

I assume this will all be wrapped up by the end of the week?

We can only hope. I’m getting to the point where I think they are unsure of who to pick which is not comforting

Yeah, I think that maybe they have gone too broad and have some GMs they love and some HCs they love but are struggling to find a tandem they want. Or maybe they are trying to land a whale in the shape of Fitzgerald, Colbert or Schneider.

Would people be happier if we were to get the top choice GM and third choice HC or first choice HC and third choice for the GM gig?

I would want the #1 GM, #3 coach. The best GM can stock the roster with talent, and change the coach if they are not working out. The coach can do very little to increase talent (other than advocating for players etc) relatively, and often has little bearing on the GM.

Of course, #1 for both would be nice. :grinning:

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Yes, it could. At least a greater array of candidates means they’ve increased the odds of netting a winner it also means they’ve increased the odds of getting it wrong, perhaps.

Here’s a different way of looking it. You bring in three people. They give you a carefully crafted analysis of what they think you want to hear, knowing they only have two other people to beat out for the job, and knowing the two people interviewing them are largely ignorant of what is going on. That’s what happened last time.

Now, you hire some retired employees who know things from a different perspective, you bring in twelve candidates. They know they have to up their game if they want the job. They know they can’t BS the retired guys in the room. They are more likely to give an unvarnished analysis of the truth they see and put forth their vision on how to move forward and become better than the other 31 competitors out there.

The people doing the judging have a better idea of who aligns best with their vision on how to move forward. Certainly they have more decisions to make at the round table, but ultimately the process itself should net them the best candidate for their goals.

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GM and/or coaching candidates aren’t going to commit to the Lions until they know they are out of the running for Chargers and Jags.

So it depends a little on whether the guy we want is in the running somewhere else.

A lot of moving pieces and parts …

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I am hoping that the Hamp/Woods have used these interviews to learn, learn what they don’t know, as they have several highly thought of individuals that they are getting knowledge from. I would hope that with each additional interview they have improved their knowledge base and are asking better questions as the process goes along.

The second interview should allow them to take the new knowledge and hone in on areas that matter to Detroit; culture they want with the Lions. Then add in Disner, Ware and Spielman’s input and you would hope they are improving in this process and making connections for the future as well.

I think it was mentioned before but I also hope that both wood and Sheila are using these interview and picking Speilmans Brian to learn a few things about how to run a football team - soaking up some experience along the way…

This is quite true. They must figure out an acceptable third choice in this instance.

I’m certain they both are getting an education. Spielman and Disner are likely asking some minutiae questions they would not have thought to ask, and likely receiving explanations on why they are important questions to ask.

The greatest question that remains is what SFH does with this advice. Will she have a voting decision? Will she discard it and go maverick? Will she delegate it to Wood? Will it be some soft blend of these? We’ll likely never know.

It’s a good sign that we are having so many interviews … it shows they
respect Spielman and are truly interested. Yes, the money helps.
It also shows SFH is collaborating, and it will be a group consensus with her, Spielman, and probably Disner.
Let’s all be thankful they are smart enough to avoid out of touch relics like Accorsi.
Whether they knock it out of the park or not, the effort is there. A nice change from previous decision makers.


I also believe this newfangled habit of finding a coach/GM combo is making the process take a lot longer. Used to be, you’d hire the GM first then let him go through the process of hiring the coach. It’s one of the reasons I believe the Jets and Broncos have been able to act so quickly, they had guys already in place.