Report: Detroit Lions to interview former Falcons-GM Thomas Dimitroff

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Erik Schlitt
·2 min read
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NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero is reporting that the Detroit Lions are planning to interview former Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff next week.

After interviewing internal candidates Kyle O’Brien, Lance Newmark, and Rob Lohman for their vacated general manager position last week, the Lions have reportedly set up three more interviews. Former Philadelphia Eagles director of pro personnel Louis Riddick is reportedly coming to Allen Park on Friday, while Dimitroff and former Houston Texans GM Rick Smith are scheduled for next week.

This brings the interview total up to six, already double the total amount of interviews the Lions did in the GM search that landed them Bob Quinn. Additionally, it’s important to note that the Lions have yet to explore candidates who are currently employed by other NFL teams, as they have to wait for the conclusion of their seasons before that can happen.

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Like Smith, Dimitroff was one of the top candidates for general manager we at Lions Wire identified after Quinn was fired, and is currently on a shortlist of preferred candidates from Lions Wire editors Jeff Risdon and Erik Schlitt.

Dimitroff has been working on the NFL for 28 years, including spending four years with the Lions as an area scout. By 2008, Dimitroff took a GM job for the Falcons and remained there until earlier this year when he was fired earlier this year.

During his 13 years in Atlanta, Dimitroff has seen many ups and downs, has rebuilt the roster twice, and led the team to a 2016 Super Bowl appearance. The fact that he led the Falcons on two separate championship runs is a great indicator that he knows how to build a winner from the ground up — something the Lions are desperate for.

In our examination of GM and coaching candidates crossing career paths, we noted that Dimitroff has worked directly with one popular head coach candidate and has an indirect connection with another.

Current Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and Dimitroff worked together for five seasons in the early 2000’s. While Dimitroff’s connection to San Francisco’s defensive coordinator Robert Saleh goes through the 49ers head coach is Kyle Shannahan, who was an offensive coordinator in Atlanta.