The NFL Combine began on Monday and the event is working its way through its schedule on its way toward on-field drills, which begin on Thursday, March 2. Day 1 of the Combine is mostly arrival and orientation things, making Tuesday the true “first” day.
As part of the lead-up to measurements and drills, general managers and coaches speak with the media—Detroit Lions’ Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell will be at the podium on Wednesday—and lots of behind-the-scenes business conversations are being had.
So far we have covered a variety of things from player news to coaching changes to the exciting world of team president and CEO Rod Wood. Here’s a sampling:
- New uniforms not coming until “probably” 2024
- The Lions officially confirmed the hiring of Brett Fischer as Director of Player Health and Performance, a move that was reported a few weeks ago (here’s our story on the hire)
- Former head coach John Fox is reportedly being hired by the Lions for a defensive consulting position
- Lions starting MIKE and unrestricted free agent Alex Anzalone has been in talks about a possible return to Detroit
- And reports that former Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay will be released at the start of the free agency
But there have also been several notable news stories we have not written an expanded article on, which leads us to today’s notes.
- Dave Birkett of the Free Press spoke to Wood about the possibility of the Lions and Chiefs facing off in Germany this fall—an event Lions fans have mixed feeling about—and Wood said there was “‘at least’ a 50% chance” of that happening.
- The news comes fast at the Combine, and with 32 pairs of team representatives along with teams of beat writers from all 32 teams in attendance, you can find fun information in a variety of places. For example, last offseason, Bengals coach Zac Taylor gushed over the Lions hiring of Ben Johnson as their offensive coordinator. At the Combine on Tuesday, Taylor was once again asked about his thoughts on Johnson. Detroit News reporter Justin Rogers was in attendance for the answer:
Bengals coach Zac Taylor, who has raved about Ben Johnson in the past, said he was a little surprised Johnson didn't have more of a learning curve as an OC. Said he was perfect in his first year.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) February 28, 2023
- Speaking of Rogers, he also penned an interesting piece on Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and his lesson learned from making trades within the division. Mensah and Holmes have made two notable deals in the past calendar year, with the Lions acquiring pick No. 12 in the 2022 draft and selecting Jameson Williams, as well as the Lions sending Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson to Minnesota for their playoff push.
“I know, ultimately, your first path to the playoffs is winning your division, right?,” Adofo-Mensah said to Rogers. “So, you never want to obviously make your division stronger. But, ultimately, the best path I have to the playoffs is putting the best team on the field. So, that’s where that starts. Brad and I have a really good relationship, and I said this earlier, you can do trades where both sides kind of know what their interests are and both can win.”
- In another interesting twist Dan Campbell’s former mentor, Broncos coach Sean Payton, said that despite not hiring former Lions coach Matt Patricia—the man Campbell replaced—as his defensive coordinator, Payton would not rule out hiring him for another role:
Sean Payton says he wouldn’t rule a role out for Matt Patricia on his staff. Needs to talk to Vance Joseph about it before anything like that happens.— Chris Mason (@ByChrisMason) February 28, 2023
POD has thoughts...
https://t.co/sAG9XE2wB0 pic.twitter.com/9Cp7UGqf9l— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) March 1, 2023
Have Matt Patricia and Russell Wilson share an office and film that instead of Hard Knocks this year. https://t.co/HgdNjwxdV5— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) February 28, 2023
- If you’re new to the NFL Combine, the Mothership penned an informative piece highlighting and explaining every workout at the NFL Combine. Even if you’re a seasoned vet, it’s a nice piece to give you a refresher.
- The Lions also released a spoken word piece, called “Detroit Shows Up,” by Detroit-based poet, author, and event producer, Joel Fluent Greene, as part of their celebration of Black History Month:
WATCH: We rounded out Black History Month with a spoken word piece, "Detroit Shows Up," by Detroit-based poet, author and event producer, Joel Fluent Greene. #LionsBHM@fluentdetroit pic.twitter.com/Y5pho0uq8J— Detroit Lions (@Lions) February 28, 2023