After a disappointing season, the Detroit Lions tweaked their coaching staff a bit, and now they have also made a change to their front office. However, it is a matter of addition, not subtraction, as the Lions have hired Brian Xanders as a senior personnel executive.
Xanders has been hired to some sort of nebulous role, which to be fair most front office roles are rather nebulous, but he will be answering to Martin Mayhew and company and will not have final say on any roster decisions, which he's used to, even though he used to be a General Manager. After spending many years with the Atlanta Falcons, he was hired as the assistant GM in Denver under Mike Shanahan, who wore two hats, and then took over as the actual General Manager the next year. He was with the team through many a change, before leaving the team before the 2012 season started as John Elway remade the front office in his image.
It is hard to say what kind of impact Xanders will have. He was well thought of enough to be made a GM, but somebody once thought highly enough of Matt Millen to give him that same position with the Lions. However, the Broncos are a generally more respected organization. We also, evidently, can't blame Xanders for drafting Tim Tebow, since he didn't have final say on such matters.
Hopefully Xanders is a beneficial presence for the Lions. Anybody who is good for them is a plus. Maybe the Lions can give him the job of keeping Ndamukong Suh away from idiotic reality shows. I know he evidently saved comedian Louie Anderson's life while working on some celebrity high dive show, which is one of the most ridiculous sentences one can ever write, but he shouldn't really be participating in such things. As I learned from Mythbusters, if you don't know what you are doing, high dives can be very dangerous, and they certainly lead to a lot of wear and tear. Guys get in trouble for hurting themselves playing hoops, but somehow Suh's contract doesn't bar this? Get on it, Xanders!