The Detroit Lions have added former Denver Broncos general manager Brian Xanders to their front office. Specifically, he has been hired as a senior personnel executive. This move was announced on Monday afternoon and first reported by Dave Birkett.
Xanders is going to report to Lions general manager Martin Mayhew, and Tim Twentyman reports that Xanders has been "charged with changing the way the Lions scout and grade players." In other words, the Lions are adding Xanders in part to change their scouting process, and on a more general basis, he will add another voice to their front office.
Here's what Mayhew had to say about the move to hire Xanders:
"As I indicated following the season, we are re-evaluating all aspects of our football operation," said Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Martin Mayhew. "As part of process, we are thrilled to announce the hiring of Brian Xanders who has a wealth of experience that will benefit our organization.
"Brian's addition, given his diverse background, positively impacts all aspects of our team's football operations. He brings experience as a general manager and has worked in both pro and college scouting. In addition to his personnel background, he has experience in contract negotiations and expertise in the development and use of technological resources in player personnel.
"Brian will effectively improve on the structure we have in place and will add another set of eyes to the evaluation process."
Xanders played football at Florida State in college (his career began after Mayhew had already left FSU, it appears) and spent the first 14 years of his NFL career working for the Atlanta Falcons. He didn't play in the NFL, but he did a number of different things for the Falcons from 1994-2007. In 2008, he joined the Broncos as the team's assistant general manager, and he took over the general manager job in 2009. He was the Broncos' GM up until last May, at which time he and the team mutually parted ways with John Elway essentially taking charge.
I have to say, I'm really impressed with this move. Xanders had a pretty nice run as Broncos GM, and I'm all for adding new voices to the front office. I also like the fact that Mayhew is willing to change things up. As far as I'm concerned, it can't hurt to have another set of eyes going through the scouting and evaluating process, especially with this being such a crucial offseason for the Lions.