Brad Holmes knew that he was going to have to field questions about former Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. After all, look at the events that transpired at SoFi Stadium. Stafford (and the LA Rams) are heading to the Super Bowl. Before speaking on that, however, Holmes took care of the business at hand. And that’s the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl.
The Detroit Lions and NY Jets coaching staff will coach the American and National teams, respectively, in Saturday’s game. So it was a no-brainer that Holmes flew into town. After all, he’s a scouting and draft wizard. He proved it with the Rams. And he proved it in his first season as the Lions’ general manager.
Grinning from ear-to-ear as he spoke with the media, Holmes outlined the importance of this opporunity for his team.
“This is a critical phase in our process,” said Holmes. “It’s all a puzzle you want to put together by April (NFL Draft). It’s just so happen this piece of the puzzle has a little more “umph” based on the opportunity we we have coaching the game.”
Jumpstarting his preparation for the draft and being able to evaluate players in person, on and off the field, is critical to Brad Holmes’ process.
Unlike the previous Lions’ front office, Holmes played it smooth about what specific players he anticipated evaluation. Nevertheless, he did speak briefly on the American team quarterbacks the Lions staff would coach in the Senior Bowl. Specifically, he spoke on the adversity they faced.
“You got [Sam] Howell, he lost a lot of skill [players] in the passing. He’s got kind of a new cast that he’s working with. You got [Malik] Willis that had to transfer. And he had to go to a different level, and produce. Then you know [Brian] Zappe. I’m not sure about true adversity, but his production speaks for itself. Almost 6,000 yards and 60 touchdowns.”
“It’s going to be an interesting group to deep dive this week.”
Obviously, the quarterback situation with the Detroit Lions is a talking point the Lions must address. After they traded Matthew Stafford to the Rams for Jared Goff, the notion floating is that Goff would be a bridge QB until the Lions draft their new guy.
Holmes did take a moment to address Matthew Stafford heading to the Super Bowl.
On Sunday evening, Matthew Stafford completed one hell of a calendar. A year to the date the Lions traded him to the LA Rams, he helped them punch a ticket to the Super Bowl. And for many Lions fans, it was a beautiful moment. Their guy “9” did what they knew he was capable of. However, Holmes didn’t have to trade Stafford at all. He was under contract. He could have easily kept Stafford in Detroit.
Nevertheless, Brad Holmes did the right thing. He honored Stafford’s request. When asked at the media session why he did, Holmes’ answer was simple.
“He asked for a trade,” said Holmes. I think we (the Lions) are in two different phases, and I think that’s what he had recognized, so I respected his request.”
“We did the best thing for our organization, and we did the best thing for him.”
He mentioned how the Rams got a good player and the Lions received the draft compensation they desired. Brilliant move by Holmes. Too many times teams try to hold on to a player who wants to leave. Holmes trading Stafford was an honorable move that allowed both parties to move on before it became potentially toxic.
Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.