Lions General Manager Brad Holmes and Coach Dan Campbell call each other brothers. They wear shirts with the other’s image on it.
This is my brother, my guy,” Holmes said of Campbell.
Their relationship is another sign we are about to enter the best Lions era ever under the Ford family ownership.
Yes, even better than the roaring 90s when Barry Sanders, Chris Spielman, Lomas Brown and Herman Moore roamed the Pontiac Silverdome.
During the best era in Lions football under the Fords the team made the playoffs five of seven seasons, but the Lions also had a losing record. Friction between players, the front office and the coaching staff prevented this franchise from taking off.
The main architect Coach Wayne Fontes was fired after the 1996 season and two years later the main cog Barry Sanders retired in his prime.
Players believed they were capable of so much more. But the coaching staff and front office did not listen to them. Bobby Ross, who replaced Fontes as coach, was so distant from his players that he put a suggestion box in the dressing room so players could air their grievances.
Players believed that the only person owner William Clay Ford would listen to was Sanders. They begged Sanders to talk to Ford, but he refused.
This group was Three Mile Island in pads. The Lions thrived and sank under three volatile pieces – player, coaches and ownership – that left fans wanting more.
The bromance between Holmes and Campbell does not guarantee the Lions will win. However, it carries over into the dressing room where players believe in both Campbell and Holmes. There is cohesion from top to bottom.
There is a game plan laid out by owner Sheila Hamp.
That is a positive start right there.
It should take the Lions far.
For more from the author Terry Foster, check him out on Twitter here: @terryfosterdet
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Original Photo Credit: Detroit Free Press