NFC North: Brian Xanders


A week ago, when he was announcing Jim Caldwell as the Detroit Lions new head coach, general manager Martin Mayhew said he didn't expect his senior personnel executive, Brian Xanders, to be around for long.

Turns out, Xanders might be with Detroit for at least a little bit longer.

According to this report from Mike Klis in the Denver Post -- and Xanders was the general manager for the Broncos from 2009 to 2012, so he is plugged in with these matters -- Xanders is not a finalist for the Miami Dolphins general manager job.

This means Xanders is likely to stay in Detroit for the time being, a benefit for the Lions. Xanders helped revamp the organization's scouting system when he was hired a year ago and he and Mayhew combined to put together a strong offseason of acquisitions for the Lions in both free agency and the draft.

So having Xanders around for a little while longer should assist Detroit as it heads into this offseason, where there are some key personnel moves to discuss as well as some holes to fill in free agency and the draft -- as there is every year.

At some point, Xanders will likely be a general manager again. He is young and he has put together a strong pedigree of fielding teams -- or at least assisting in it. Detroit should enjoy his services while he is with the Lions.

And now, a look at Lions news from around the Interwebs:

BBAO: The days after

April, 29, 2013
We're Black and Blue All Over:

Phew! We made it. Veni, vidi, vici and all that.

Three days of the 2013 draft brought us 35 new draft picks and scores of college free agents. I did my best to sort out the immediate aftermath Saturday evening and Sunday morning, and we'll start putting it context and looking for trends and hidden meaning Monday.

In a mere three more months, we'll see these guys -- along with their veteran counterparts -- in training camp. Imagine that.

For now, let's take a sampling of local draft coverage.

NFC North links: Bears gig excites Tucker

February, 18, 2013
Chicago Bears

To put it mildly, Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is excited about his new opportunity. "What's not to like about the Bears?" Tucker said. "It's a great organization, lots of tradition, and my wife is from Chicago. I'm a Midwestern guy from Cleveland, played at Wisconsin. It's a great tradition of football, and on the defensive side of the ball there's some history here as well."

Detroit Lions

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew says he has no plans to use the franchise tag.

Utilizing available technology to improve scouting techniques is one of the reasons Brian Xanders was hired last month. “One thing that he’s doing, that he’s working on right now, is just working on developing our scouting database and creating a new database that’s sort of our own, designed by us, to give us the information that we want specifically for our scouting process in pro and college scouting,” Mayhew said last week. “He’s done that a couple times, a couple different franchises. He’s got a lot of experience in working with that.”

Green Bay Packers

The Packers are facing a tough decision when it comes to cornerback Sam Shields.

Don't expect the Packers to use their franchise tag on wide receiver Greg Jennings, writes Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Minnesota Vikings

Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press weighs in on the Percy Harvin saga, including potential landing spots for the wide receiver.
We're Black and Blue All Over:

Good morning. There's nothing like a long weekend in January to offer unfettered snow shoveling time and a deadline-free Pro Bowl watching environment.

While we were gone, Richard Meryhew of the Star Tribune published a story that has reverberated around the Twin Cities sports scene. It detailed the fight between the Minnesota Vikings and its future landlord over the design of their new stadium. Namely, the sides are at odds over how much flexibility the facility should have to squeeze in a baseball diamond for the hundreds of high school and college baseball games it will host during the cold weeks and months of the early spring.

The Vikings are holding firm to a design that would put the right field fence 285 feet and the power alley 319 feet away from home plate. Those distances would allow them to put football seats 44 feet away from the field, a proximity that presumably would sell at a high price, but they fall below standards for college games.

The team's landlord wants a bigger baseball dimensions, pushing back the football seats. An extended dispute could disrupt the timeline to open for the 2016 NFL season.

Gov. Mark Dayton has referred to the $975 million structure as "The People's Stadium" because of taxpayers' $498 million contribution. The idea was to allow Minnesotans access to it whenever football games are not being played, and the Vikings were well aware of that component when they made their $477 million investment. There is surely room for compromise here, but the issue is a reminder that the facility isn't and can't be a football-only stadium. In order to secure funding, the Vikings had to accept a less-than-ideal arrangement. If they wanted their ideal, they could have funded it privately. Groundbreaking is scheduled for October 2013.

Continuing around the NFC North: