During his Monday press conference, Detroit Lions interim head coach Darrell Bevell dropped a line that had everyone in the Zoom chat doing a double take. When asked about how the team is making roster decisions without an acting general manager, Bevell revealed that team president Rod Wood is involved in the process.
“So I don’t even know what the shape would be that we call it, but we have our personnel group that’s left over. They really do a great job—with Kyle (O’Brien, vice president of player personnel) and Lance (Newmark, director of player personnel) and Rob (Lohman, director of pro scouting) and then (President and CEO) Rod Wood is involved in it and (Vice President of Football Administration) Mike Disner – really, the five of them and myself. We did have a lot of discussions about the roster.”
Given that Wood is a self-described non-football guy, it was a bit surprising to hear he is involved in the decision-making process, even in these odds GM-less times. So Bevell was asked a follow up: does Wood have a vote at the table when, say, the Lions are deciding to cut Marvin Hall.
“He’s definitely in the conversation, yes,” Bevell responded.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press took this news one step further, contacting Wood himself to see exactly what his role is right now when it comes to personnel decisions.
“My role is to facilitate discussion amongst all the people that should have a voice on these kind of decisions and make sure we reach a consensus, which so far we have on everything,” Wood told the Free Press.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Are you bothered by Rod Wood’s role on the team?
My answer: Yes and no. I understand without a pure acting general manager, there is a need for someone to make sure things are running smoothly with personnel decisions. If there are five people trying to come to one decision, you’re not always going to have a complete consensus. The need for a mediator is there. That’s why people have general managers and not just varying personnel employees.
But everything I’ve heard from inside and outside the organization suggests Rod Wood’s fingerprints are all over this team, even before the firings. His presence throughout the organization acts as ownership’s ears and eyes, and if I’m being completely honest, I have no reason to trust him in such an integral role with the team. He’s done some nice things on the business side of things, but it’s clear his role has expanded beyond that, and I don’t view that as a good thing.
Owner Sheila Ford Hamp said during her press conference that she was looking into organizational structures and charts, but in the same breath she said she doesn’t anticipate changing what Wood is doing right now.
So while I understand the organization’s need for a guy like Wood to just make sure the Lions personnel department doesn’t run amiss, I also view this continuing expansion of his role as a real threat to the Lions’ ability to run properly.
I’ll leave you with this concerning note from another one of Birkett’s articles, regarding how general manager candidates are viewing the Lions job.
Hamp said last week that she has no plans to replace Wood as president, but at least two of the aforementioned candidates have reservations about coming to Detroit without a change in power structure, where either they or another more football-oriented team president is in place.
Are you bothered by Rod Wood’s current role with the Lions?
This poll is closed