Was Goff the MOST Important Early Decision Holmes/Campbell got Right?

That doesn’t make any sense Slay. Weapons are wasted on most young QBs. If you don’t have a QB your team is in trouble. Addressing QB last is the opposite of what most GMs do when building a team. QBs touch the ball every offensive play and they affect everything including the overall confidence of a team.

As much as we all want to hug Brad and Dan for kicking ass there were real questions in 2022. In 2021 the team went 3-13-1. No one expected much better overall but that still stung. In 2022 the club started 1-7. They lost 0-29 to the Patriots in that stretch. Games were kind of close but not really. At that point Campbell was 4-20-1. Bad. Most NFL coaches start to win by the second season. Sheila had to come out with support for the front office and coaches. It was BAD.

Then a funny thing happened: the light bulb came on. The team ended 8-2. Awesome. Crazy. And the rest is history.

To look back now and say they were waiting got Goff to develop or they would replace him suggests they were not confident in him day one. There were too many opportunities to move on from Goff early if the Lions didn’t love the guy. I’m not buying the find your QB at the end thing. I am buying the Lions felt like they had their guy but the rest of the team needed upgrading. They stayed with Goff, developed him, and didn’t replace him, esp. in 2021 when 5 QBs went rd. 1.

And I think they were right to stand by Goff’s side.

Knowledgable fans vs Holmes, Agnew and others that came from the Rams and knew the inside story of what happened there. They knew the story of McVey and Goff what happened inside the bldg.

The point being they had a foundation for the belief in Goff that fans did not have. Was it a risk, yes, but not as big a risk as most thought at the time of the trade.

So I don’t think it is revisionist history at all, the trade brought a QB that had led his team to the playoffs, won playoff game. The other trade offers did not and, as Holmes said, it easier to go backwards at the QB spot than forward.

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Even in the 1-7 start there were signs as many on this board pointed out that progress was being made.

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I believe Brad knew what he had in golf. I seen a video when the lions made the trade with the Rams. All the experts I mean all the experts were saying golf was a fringe or bridge Qb. The video brought out that Golf play depended on the offensive line . He said the rams line was greatly depleted since the Super Bowl and that given a good offensive line Golf was a pro bowl player. I believe Brad knew this that’s why they were so excited to draft Sewell and I believe if Sewell was gone they were going to select the tackle that went to the chargers. That’s why Brad imho will never let that offensive line not be elite.


Bryce Young is being broken because the Panthers are doing it QB first. His O-line is terrible and he has no weapons. He’s not developing, the team has no confidence in him and by the time the structure around him is good enough to win he won’t have long left on his cheap rookie and he might be damaged beyond repair. What doesn’t make sense is dropping your raw, young QB into a situation where he’s more likely to fail and suffer in his development. If you’re buying a Ferrari you resurface the driveway and build a garage before you buy it, not after.

I’m not sure most GMs do it the opposite way, and if you look at highly drafted QBs that failed a lot of them were dropped into shitty situations where the line was bad and the weapons were second rate, and the GM ultimately ended up getting fired. Look at the Texans, they had two seasons without a viable QB (Mills) while they built the rest of the roster, and then CJ Stroud hit the ground running. Compare his situation with Young’s.

Even if most GMs do do it the other way, if you want to beat them then you shouldn’t be doing things the same way they do, you should be doing things differently. Holmes has already broken a few “established” GM rules and the Lions have benefitted handsomely. “This is what most _____ do” is the worst argument for doing anything, in any walk of life. You need to understand why they do it, and if they why doesn’t make sense for you, then you should do it another way. The most successful sports teams and businesses didn’t develop a competitive advantage by doing things the same way as everyone else.

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Slay, are you disagreeing that most teams/GMs/coaches strive to find their first whenever possible?

Holmes got his QB with his first real move as GM. He was right and the Lions rebuild was kicked into high gear earlier than if we had to 100% develop a QB.

Bryce is a sidestep in this debate. The REAL question is are you RIGHT in your QB analysis. Holmes WAS 100% RIGHT ABOUT GOFF. Brad took advantage of McVay’s inability to get more out of Jared. At this point Goff is 30 in Oct. 2024. 29 right now. Stafford is 36 years old as of Feb. 7th.

Not only was Holmes right about Goff but Holmes also covered the future of the Lions at QB with Herndon Hooker who will be an affordable QB back-up for the next three seasons. Perfection in hanfling the QB position by Holmes and Campbell.

In terms of getting your QB 1st you have to be RIGHT in picking a QB in the first place! This is very, very hard for teams to do. Holmes was right about Goff in 2016 and in 2021. The Panthers were likely wrong about Bryce Young. This isn’t about the architecture of team building it is player evaluation.

In the 2017 NFL draft Mahomes was drafted #10 OA by the Chiefs who traded UP to get him. That cost the Chiefs their #1 pick in 2017, a 3rd rd. pick in 2017 and the Chiefs #1 in 2018. Mitch Trubisky went #2 OA to the Bears. Were the Bears wrong to pick a QB #2 OA? Nope, they just picked the wrong guy. 3 QBs went 1st rd. that year…Mitch, Patrick and D. Watson. 2/3 are pretty damn good…Deshaun weird stuff aside.

Holmes was right about Goff day 1 and the Panthers are likely wrong about Bryce. BUT…many great QBs need a bit of time to get their game together. Mahomes started the last game of his rookie season. That’s it. The 2016 Chiefs were damn good so that was ideal for Mahomes (to your point)…and they struck gold. But they also didn’t trade up for Mitch T either.

The issue with Bryce isn’t building QB first. It is he didn’t get a chance to sit and learn. But also, he may not be that good. Frank Reich is reported to have disagreed on moving up for THAT QB. Rumors point to Frank wanting Stroud. If true Frank was likely correct.

I cannot imagine the Lions passing up Stafford in 2009 saying our team isn’t good enough for a QB yet. Many crazy and stupid Lion fane wanted a LBer (Aaron Curry) over Stafford. Nope. On this board I argued for Matt over ALL the other options as over time none of those options were better than taking Matt…and we didn’t have a QB!!

Point is, get your QB and be right in your analysis. Easier said than done. Look at the Bears. They are STILL undoing their 2017 decision on some ways. Holes as right about Goff and we got to make the rest of the team better by NOT having to find a QB in 2021, 2022 or 2023 with an early pick.

It seems easy to say not but in 2021 5 QB were drafted in the top 15. Fields and Mac Jones were on the clock with the Lions picking. Holmes could have EASILY made the choice to draft Fields (a favorite by many here in the Den) saying something like “we are going to have competition everywhere on this roster starting at QB” and he could have drafted a mobile QB. Passing up Sewell in the process. Mant here would have LOVED that pick but not me. I knew Sewell was going to be a stud. He is the true dancing bear with a finishers attitude.

Point is we had our QB, Holmes and Campbell knew it and now we have a 29/30 year old QB AND Sewell. BUT…it could have EASILY been a different direction. Time (and luck) proves all GMs right or wrong. With Holomes being right about Goff we likely bought ourselves three more years of Goff…as we develop Hooker. Perfection right out of the gate by Holmes and Campbell.

100%. This was absolutely a progression → NOT a “lightbulb moment” where things “just clicked”.

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If they knew it why did neither of them say it until the end of the 9-8 season? Both Brad and Dan were very deliberate in not overcommitting to Goff in the media, whereas a GM or HC that believes they have their guy for the future won’t be shy in telling the media about it.

Goff was a lottery ticket, either he proved to be the guy for the future, or he ended up being a placeholder and the roster would be ready for a rookie to drop in and hit the ground running. Certainly the low quality of rookie QBs in 2021 and 2022 made rolling with Goff an even easier call to make.

You are of course right that it needs to be the right guy (thank god Brad wasn’t among the fairly large group of people who wanted Malik Willis at 2 overall), but that’s where I think a lot of GMs go wrong. They get a rookie QB because they need one and because they can, and not necessarily because they think he’s going to be the guy. Goff allowed Brad to avoid that trap, but to be perfectly honest, while I’m definitely not expecting it I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if Holmes moves up and takes a QB in the 1st this year. Getting your guy when you’ve already got a guy is a move good GMs make (Flacco > Lamar, Favre > Rodgers, Rodgers > Love, Smith > Mahomes) and I definitely see Brad making that kind of move if he has a Mahomes type grade on someone and he’d be able to make the trades necessary to get him.

I LOVE this conversation Slay. Honest and interesting. It is fine to NOT agree. But (and there is always a but!) Holmes and Campbell DID speak. They had two drafts at that point. Actions speak louder than words. Brad had chance after chance to replace Goff or to bring in credible competition. If anything Brad shows us he can and will trade up (Jameson Williams, Brian Branch) and trade down (Gibbs, LaPorta) when he feels like a move is necessary. Brad and Dan not working to replace Goff says it all. Any words contrary to their actions are MEANINGLESS.

Holmes knew he had his guy and he convinced Dan to trust him. And by 2023 that decision redounded to two damn playoff wins which I have never seen the Lions do! In 1991 the Lions beat the Cowboys at home then lost in D.C.

This thread is about giving credit when credit is due. Brad NAILED that first defining decision on every level. Not only did we get a 27 year old QB who started a Super Bowl, we got three additional picks that led to Iffy, Jameson, Gibbs, LaPorta and others I believe (DT Martin?). Most importantly, Brad choose that path. Trade offs and different opportunity cost options were all over. It wasn’t a “choose the Rams offer as it is clearly the best offer “ situation. It took STONES to trade Stafford, get a QB who needs serious work and get a 3rd rd. puck year one. That was BALLSY to say the least. THEN…Brad traded for an injured WR in 2022 and that pick might FINALLY pay off in full in 2024.

Brad showed us vision, prescience and confidence in a way we had NEVER seen in a Lions GM. I am convinced no other Lions GM could have done this. Hell, look how Bob Quinn handled the Calvin situation. Awful.

Credit to Brad for his vision that led us to a place where we expect our team to win the North again and to compete for a Super Bowl. That is incredible.