Spielman: Dave Sears ‘a great hire’ for Cardinals, tough loss for Lions

Jan 23, 2023, 2:53 PM
Monti Ossenfort, right, the new general manager of the Arizona Cardinals NFL football team, shakes ...

Monti Ossenfort, right, the new general manager of the Arizona Cardinals NFL football team, shakes hands with Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill, left, during a news conference in Tempe, Ariz., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Dave Sears marked Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort’s first hire since taking over the managerial reins of the organization.

It may be only one of many additions Ossenfort and Co. will make between now and the start of training camp, but to Lions special assistant to the president and CEO Chris Spielman, adding Sears as assistant GM is certainly a step in the right direction for the Cardinals.

“He is as talented an evaluator as I’ve been around — I’ve been around a lot of them in my football life,” Spielman told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Monday. “He is a team guy, he is a leader — he led our college department — he’s a great communicator. He’s not looking to serve Dave Sears, he’s looking to serve the Arizona Cardinals.

“He’s probably one of the humblest, smartest football men I’ve been around. I think it’s no surprise he was plucked from our staff. … He knows what he’s doing and is an excellent talent evaluator. … It’s a great hire for (the Cardinals) and a loss for us.”

Sears isn’t the only Lions connection around the Cardinals lately.

In addition to Arizona’s interest in adding Sears to its ranks, Detroit defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn also caught the Cardinals’ attention for their head-coaching vacancy.

On the same day it was reported that Sears was joining the Cardinals front office, the team met with Glenn over its head-coaching opening.

Coincidentally, Glenn played cornerback for the Houston Texans during the time both Ossenfort and Sears were with the organization in 2002 and 2004. It was one of five stops over the course of Glenn’s 15-year career before joining the front office and coaching ranks.

After two seasons as Lions DC, Glenn now looks to take that next step in his coaching progression.

“What kind of athlete and team guy are you if you can play corner in the National Football League for 15 years? That’s insane, right?” Spielman said. “I love AG, he’s a leader. I think when the defense was struggling, he hung in there, guys believed, we kept getting better. … He’ll coach no matter the circumstances, no matter the standard. If you think of AG and you think of Dan Campbell (and their coaching trees), the grandfather would be Bill Parcells. The father would be Sean Payton.

“They’re very similar in mindset and that’s what I think I admire about him. He’s all about the team, he’s all about grit, he’s all about toughness, he’s all about coming together as one. I know that’s all cliche, but everybody says it but not everybody does it.”

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