Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes is sick of people doubting is team-building strategy.
After a surprise run to the NFC Championship game, Holmes and Detroit have proven to be correct in building through the trenches, going young, and staying the course.
So in a season-ending press conference last week, Holmes did not hold back with a victory lap. In fact, he went so far as to call out local sports media personalities by name.
Specifically, Holmes called out Detroit Free Press Lions beat reporter Dave Birkett for questioning the Lions’ top two selections in 2021, offensive lineman Penei Sewell and linebacker Derrick Barnes.
“When you look back at those picks … those picks were not welcomed by many in this room,” Holmes said. “Dave (Birkett), you wanted us to pick a quarterback, you didn’t want us to pick Penei Sewell. People didn’t want us to wait until the fourth round to draft a wide receiver. People didn’t want to wait on a Derrick Barnes to develop. But every single move was intentional and was made with intention.”
Another local columnist and radio host, Carlos Monarrez, previously criticized the selection of cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu. Holmes pushed back at Monarrez as well.
The Lions are in the early stages of a franchise reset. Holmes has done a great job building the roster, and the team is set up for success. Holmes has every right to do a victory lap.
Still, it’s understandable local media especially would be hesitant to believe in the Lions’ product until the franchise has sustained success. History is on the side of the haters right now.
[Detroit Lions on YouTube]