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Report: Lions GM Brad Holmes has ‘bold’ plan for roster; Mike Disner to help operational side

Mike Disner will reportedly free up some duties so Brad Holmes can focus on the roster—and he’s got some big plans.

G. Newman Lowrance/St. Louis Ram

One of the biggest concerns fans seem to have about the Detroit Lions’ most recent hires is their lack of experience. Reported head coach Dan Campbell has only 12 games of head coaching experience and none as a coordinator. New general manager Brad Holmes has only ever reached as high as director of college scouting and has done very little on the pro scouting side of things.

For an organization that said they were looking for new leaders with experience, both hires come with a learning curve ahead of them.

But according to MMQB’s Albert Breer, the Lions may be looking internally to help guide these newcomers in Detroit. When it comes to Holmes, it sounds like the Lions will be relying on vice president of football operations Mike Disner to help ease Holmes’ workload.

“In order to get the GM job closer to a true scouting job, the Lions are putting VP Mike Disner in charge of much of the football-operations end of things, which means Holmes won’t have to worry about managing areas like travel, nutrition, training and equipment,” Breer wrote on Monday.

Disner has been with the organization for two years, primarily serving as the team’s salary cap guru. He also has 12 years of previous experience in the NFL, including six years with the Cardinals in a similar role.

This move seems like it makes plenty of sense. It leaves Holmes to do what he’s best at doing: scouting talent. That being said, this does seem to be like a significant increase in responsibilities for Disner, who also reportedly had a “major” role in the general manager search. And as Breer notes, this leaves the Lions with the ability to structure their front office much like the Rams currently do with Rod Wood serving in Kevin Demoff’s role of COO (business decisions), Disner mirroring the Rams’ VP Tony Pastoors, and, of course, Holmes serving in the same role as his previous boss, Les Snead.

Breer’s MMQB column has a ton of interesting nuggets about the Lions’ GM and head coach search, including this note on how Holmes won the Lions over so thoroughly.

In fact, one big moment in the interview came when Holmes was asked by the Detroit brass to go through each of the four GMs and five head coaches he’d worked with, and identify one thing he learned from each of them, and one he didn’t like that he’d do differently than them. One by one, Holmes calmly and logically knocked those out, then gave a cutting, honest assessment of the Lions roster, and a bold plan for what he’d do if he landed the job.

Bold plan for the roster, eh? Consider me intrigued.