In a recent podcast, The Athletic’s Nate Tice and Robert Mays discussed their top 10 CEOs that they would use to form the NFL squad. Mays explained why this differs from the power ranking in the top ten.
“It’s not a power ranking of the tasks these guys have been doing recently or in their careers,” explained Mays. “I mean, if you were starting your team from scratch right now – every player in the league is a free agent, we’ll start all over again – who would you like to oversee your team.”
With that caveat, Tice actually selected Detroit Lions CEO Brad Holmes as number 10 on his list.
“I can see the path they’re trying to take, and I think it’s really cool for a guy just starting his second year as GM,” said Tice. “But I can see the culture they are trying to build in Detroit, and it’s probably a reflection of the head coach they have, but it’s also a good insight into their thinking and to show that they understand who they are.”
Tice was particularly impressed with Holmes’ patience, even with their aggressive fight for Jameson Williams this year.
“They were in no rush,” said Tice. “Last year they strengthened their offensive line with (Penei) Sewell. They didn’t say, “Oh, we must have a wide receiver now.” They stayed patient with all of these movements. Even though they moved back to the first round to get Jameson Williams, I thought it was a great understanding and thought that really – it depends on the trading chart, blah blah blah blah – they weren’t giving up that much. I thought it was a nice move and you won’t get Jameson Williams in every draft, especially for a team that needed team speed.
Another aspect of Holmes’ work that Tice was impressed with is his marriage to head coach Dan Campbell. We’ve heard a lot about how the two get along so well, and Tice says it shows in the way Holmes finds players that fit into Detroit’s culture without sacrificing anything.
“Position coaches, coordinators, head coaches, come and say,” I want this guy. I want this guy. I want that guy, ”said Tice. “For GM to take it and translate it into something that works and doesn’t bankrupt you or bankrupt you in the future or in the future, I like the patience the Lions have shown.”
Mays noted that he agreed with everything Tice said, but had a warning for Lions fans – and Mays agreed. Here are them back and forth:
May: “There have been a lot of good feelings in Lions over the past few months. I think we can get a bit ahead here.
Time: “We have to understand who they are. Six wins is a good year. I hope people understand that. “
May: “It makes me worry about the Lions fans. Guys, I’m not saying you are the ones doing it (hiping), I’m just worried about your emotional well-being based on what the conversation is like. ”
Time: “It’s exciting to be watched. It’s not like “Oh, we’re storming the playoffs” or anything like that. If they do the Wild Card, great, good for them, but I think anything over six wins is a win for the Lions franchise. Not 10 wins or 11 wins. You should shoot a more reasonable number.
But Mays has dismissed lower expectations in a way that sounds optimistic about Detroit’s future.
“I think the Lions will be evil, but in an endearing way, and they will still be in range to potentially get a quarterback in a draft they (they) already like.”
You can listen to the entire podcast here. The conversation about Lions starts around 35:30.