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Lions notes: Detroit still plans on hiring advisor for GM search

A breakdown of Rod Wood's introductory press conference.

Darron R. Silva/Getty Images

New Detroit Lions president Rod Wood has his introductory press conference on Friday. Here are some highlights (and one big lowlight):

  • Wood addressed recent criticism of the Lions' choice to establish an advisory board full of Ford family members to aide in the search for a general manager. Wood admitted that the current board doesn't have "sufficient expertise" and the Lions are "definitely going to have an advisor that we will employ who will have that expertise to both help us identify, interview and make sure that we select the right person."
  • Many complaints about Wood's hiring involved his lack of football experience and how it relates to managing the salary cap. Again, Wood qualmed those fears, stating that while he will be involved in the salary cap, it will be the general manager's responsibility to negotiate and run the cap. Later in the presser, Wood said unequivocally, "When we hire the GM, all football decisions will be up to them."
  • Wood also admitted that he played a role in the firings of Martin Mayhew and Tom Lewand. "I was involved in the discussions leading up to that decision. Mrs. Ford was the one that made the final decision," Wood announced.
  • Wood also introduced himself to the team for the first time on Friday and even offered himself up for financial advice to individuals. He said, "I did offer, if they were interested, free investment advice if they wanted to come see me."
  • When the topic of the radio station controversy came up, Wood quickly dismissed the rumors: "We don't agree with those allegations that are out there."
  • Unfortunately, after the press conference was over, he met separately with the beat writers and let this sentence slip: The quote is particularly damning for a fanbase that was already quite skeptical of the hire. But I understand what Wood was trying to say: his proximity to the Ford family makes him uniquely qualified for this job and this job alone. Unfortunately, the clipped quote makes Wood sound like an irresponsible hire.
Overall, it's unfortunate that this one quote overshadowed the entirety of the press conference, because Wood actually did a very good job addressing fan's main concerns, while actually inspiring some confidence in the organization. But one poorly-worded sentence pretty much erased all good will with the fans in an instant.

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