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Detroit Free Press

Detroit Lions has a new general manager: Los Angeles Rams spy college director Brad Holmes.

The Lions reached a five-year contract with Holmes after interviewing him for the second time on Wednesday, a source told free press on Thursday.

Luther Bradley’s nephew Holmes, a former Lions first-round player, spent his entire life with the Rams. He started with the organization as a public relations intern in 2003, joined the scouting department as an intern several months later and worked as a position to run the past team’s eight drafts.

Vision: The Lions ended up trading Patriot Way for Rams Standard.

reaction: Why did Lions hire Brad Holmes? Think of Steelers who hired Mike Tomlin.

Wilbert Montgomery, a former NFL running back and Lions assistant who helped Holmes as a scouting intern, compared Holmes to former Baltimore Ravens legend GM. Ozzie Newsome

Newsome, the NFL’s first black general manager, built Ravens into a two-time Super Bowl champion.

“Ozzie Newsome is my best friend, my good and good friend,” Montgomery said. “Ozzie and I went back to high school and I have enjoyed working with Ozzie Newsome in Baltimore. Saying right now (Holmes) is the very young Ozzie Newsome of his career. “

Holmes is among at least 12 applicants interviewed by Lions for their GM job after shooting Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia in late November.

The team has screened a handful of finalists, including New Orleans Saints assistant GM Terry Fontenot, but meet Holmes only once in a one-on-one interview.

Fontenot is also not allowed to meet with the team in person following NFL rules as the Saints are still in the season and Fontenot works outside the team’s Louisiana headquarters.

Holmes, who works in Atlanta and is also a finalist for the Atlanta Falcons GM event, is known for its bright and detailed eyesight and inquisitive nature.

read: Lions GM Brad Holmes was selected for the first round in his family tree.

read: Lions GM Brad Holmes ‘a very young Ozzie Newsome’

He wrote the scouting report as an intern at Montgomery said it was indistinguishable from those produced by veteran scouts and coaches, and Rams’ former executive Tony Softly recalled Holmes created. Impression with comprehensive presentation But easily digested by him as a young scout

“His report is on par,” Softli said. “I mean, someone came to me as part of the National (Scouting Service) unification, ‘Hey, this guy can write a report,’ I go. ‘ Yeah, that’s why we hired him.’I mean, he’s a nice guy and there’s no doubt he’ll be the director of the college soon. ‘

As College Scouting Director, Holmes was part of the decision-making team to take on Aaron Donald with the 13th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft after the Lions passed on the defensive player of the year three. Vogue to support Eric Ebron

He helped guide Jared Goff’s selection over Carson Wentz with the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, and he helped the organization stay competitive – the Rams played the Green Bay Packers in Saturday’s group playoff game – though. Did not pick the first round in the past four years.

Holmes, 41, had never built a building before. But Bill Hayes, Holmes’ former college coach at North Carolina A&T, said it shouldn’t be a problem for the former team captain who has inherent leadership abilities.

“I think he will do a great job (as a GM),” said Hayes. “I know he will have to do this job. That is the first thing about it, he will be dedicated to work, he will do his best and he is a strong team along the way. He’s not a selfish maniac. He will be the one on the team. He can be trusted He’s so reliable, so I feel like he’s doing a great job. ”

Holmes, who worked with Quinn Martin Mayhew and Matt Millen as the first GM Lions hired in over two decades, is expected to join the team. With Sheila Ford Hamp, Rodwood Chairman, and Advisor Chris Spielman to choose the Lions’ next coach. Some league observers believe Holmes’ youth-enhancing experience will be.

The Lions has announced interviews with six head coaches, Darrell Bevell, who ended the 2020 season as interim head coach, ex-Bengals coach Marvin Lewis; Assistant head coach Saints Dan Campbell, who served as interim head coach for Miami Dolphins; And coordinators Robert Saleh of San Francisco 49ers, Eric Bieniemy of Kansas City Chiefs and Arthur Smith of Tennessee Titans.

The Lions are scheduled to meet with 7th head coach Tampa Bay Buccaneer defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, former New York Jets coach, later this week.

The team also showed interest in at least one college coach, Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, during the search process. But never interviewed Fitzgerald, who was not a job candidate

Prior to hiring Holmes, Lions met with company candidates Kyle O’Brien, Lance Newmark and Rob Lohman, former NFL GMs Louis Riddick ESPN analyst Thomas Dimitroff, RIck Smith and Scott Pioli, and current personnel executives Fontenot, George. Paton, Jeff Ireland and Ed Dodds.

Paton agreed to a six-year deal to become the Denver Broncos GM on Thursday.

The Lions also had serious post-channel communications about Pittsburgh Steelers’ hiring GM Kevin Colbert, two of whom were familiar with the conversation. But it was not authorized to speak on behalf of Colbert or Lions, told the Free Press.

The Lions never filed an interview with former Lions executive Jean in 1990, who was in the final year of his contract in Pittsburgh after helping the Steelers win two titles.

ESPN was the first to report Holmes’ hiring.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.