NFC Notes: Lions, Packers, Vikings


New Lions’ GM Brad Holmes reflected on how things have gone for him so far since joining a new franchise as a lead decision-maker.

“The most difficult part, I’d say, is finding the time and carving out the time to do the pure evaluation and scouting of football part of it,” Holmes told Tim Twentyman of “Now that’s why you have to have a great staff around you that you really, really trust,” Holmes said. “I do think we have that with Ray Agnew and Lance Newmark and John Dorsey. You trust those guys to make sure that when you can’t get to it, those guys you know are taking care of it and getting to it.”

Holmes communicated with other general managers around the league to gain insight on what would happen day to day in the position.

“I started talking to other GMs about it and then they say, ‘oh yeah, between the hours of 8-5 you aren’t getting a whole lot of football stuff done,” Holmes said. “Things are a lot smoother now. And I think we have a great staff and a great process in place. I’ve been able to get down (to some of the stuff I want to get to). But we’ve been very, very busy still just with staffing, process planning, and getting new systems in place.”


New Packers DC Joe Barry is looking forward to working with OLBs Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and Rashan Gary.

“All three of those guys, I’m excited about,” Barry said, via Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal. “It’s great. Whether we have two of them on the field, all three of them on the field, we’ll get creative and have some fun with it. You can’t have enough great pass rushers, and I’m excited to be working with all three of those guys. All three of those guys are in a great place.”

Regarding Preston having to restructure his contract to remain with the team, Za’Darius mentioned that he’s happy the two are still together in Green Bay. 

“Man, I’m happy to have ‘P’ back,” Za’Darius Smith said. “Whatever was going on with the situation, I don’t know. … But ‘P’ is a guy who is all-in.

“We can’t wait to get him back, and ‘P’ is a guy to keep everybody going in the meeting rooms. When people are down, he’s the guy that’s keeping us laughing, keeping us encouraged on and off the field. So it’ll be good to get ‘P’ back when we come for training camp. Can’t wait to get him back, man — the Smith Bros.”

Gary, meanwhile, feels he has a ton to prove.

“I’m not done. While I did make a lot of jumps, I’m still hungry and there’s still room to improve,” Gary said. “I’m taking strides day by day. I’m trying to get better day by day. That’s my mindset — just keeping everything full throttle from last year, not trying to slow down. Not one bit.”


Vikings S Harrison Smith is entering the final year of his contract in 2021. He’s been a fixture of Minnesota’s defense for going on 10 seasons but the future is never a given for defensive backs older than 30 no matter how well they’ve played. 

“I don’t have a solid answer for you, but obviously I’ve been here going on 10 [seasons] and would love to be here in the future,” Smith said via Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “Going to look at those things and see what we can do. That’s about it right now.”

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