No Spell at Midnight: Lions GM Brad Holmes Strongly Rejects Cinderella Label

Brad Holmes isn't too fond of the word 'Cinderella' attached to his Detroit Lions. Here's why the general manager of the NFC runner-ups doesn't like the label.

The NFL world plastered the “Cinderella” label on the Detroit Lions while on their way to the NFC Championship Game.

General manager Brad Holmes, though, refuses to refer to his team as the “C” word.

Why Lions GM Refuses To Call His Team a ‘Cinderella’ Story

Speaking with reporters for his end-of-year press conference, Holmes vows that the Lions aren’t planning to be a one-year wonder.

“It’s only going to get better, OK. We’re only going to get better,” Holmes said Monday.

And that’s when he declared that no one in the room refers to the Lions as “Cinderella.”

“I don’t want anybody to think that this was a one-shot, Cinderella magical journey that just happened. No, it’s real,” Holmes said. “This is exactly what was supposed to happen.”

Fans plastered the Cinderella moniker due to the fact the Lions hadn’t won a playoff game since the 1991 season, which was also the same season of their NFC title game run. Since that ’91 campaign, the franchise has been plagued with mediocre seasons, early first-round exits, and, in the case of 2008, a 0-16 campaign.

“I understand that based on history from what’s happened in the past — I understand you have a season like this, it’s easy to feel like this was kind of a one-shot, magical, lucky, cute story — which I’m tired of hearing. It was none of that,” Holmes said.

Holmes Outlines Vision for 2024 Lions and Beyond

Now, the expectations have risen in the Motor City all over again for Lions football.

It’s officially a “Super Bowl or bust” mindset for the Lions. And in the case of Holmes, as general manager, he’s now tasked with continuing to find the caliber of players who fit the mold he and head coach Dan Campbell have developed.

“We’ll still continue to pick football players and the guys for us,” Holmes said. “Really, it doesn’t change. Will it be different? Yes, it will be different, and maybe not be as many high-priced external adds, but that’s not required right now. So we’ll just keep sticking to our plan and go as normal. I think it’s proven that it’s worked so far for us.”

This is likely pointed to the Lions emphasizing the draft and avoiding overspending on free agents. After all, names like Pro Bowlers Amon-Ra. St. Brown, Penei Sewell, Aidan Hutchinson, and this past season’s top running back, Jahmyr Gibbs, plus prized tight end Sam LaPorta, were all draft picks.

Furthermore, Holmes is embracing the fact the Lions’ coaching staff will be retaining Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn in their respective offensive and defensive coordinator roles after both interviewed for head coaching jobs.

KEEP READING: What Ben Johnson Staying in Detroit Means for 2024

“It’s everything. Continuity is everything,” Holmes said. “They’re great coaches. They’re great coaches, they’re very smart, they’re great leaders, they’re developers, they’re teachers, and they fit here. (We’re) fortunate. I’m glad that they’re back; I know that we’re a better team with that continuity.”

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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