Rod Wood, the Lions’ new president, says he is a lifelong Lions fan.


Allen Park — Lions President Rod Wood discussed at length the team’s approach to finding its next general manager.

But as the team looks for its next leader of the football operation, the current one will have a chance to earn the job.

“Sheldon White continues as our interim GM, and we would fully expect him to be a candidate in our search,” Wood said during his introductory news conference Friday afternoon.

Wood also said the permanent GM will determine the future of coach Jim Caldwell, who has two years left on his contract after 2015.

Having worked in the Lions’ personnel department since 1997, White has the qualifications to be a GM in the NFL and was a candidate for a top personnel post with the Philadelphia Eagles last year.

However, if the Lions make him GM permanently, it would be reminiscent of the team keeping Martin Mayhew as GM in 2009. Mayhew, whom the Lions fired two weeks ago, was a top assistant to Matt Millen as White was to Mayhew.

The Lions plan to take guidance from the NFL as it searches for the next GM, and Wood declined to say what White could do to help his candidacy.

“I don’t really want to comment on anything he could do right now,” Wood said. “I’d rather let the process play out. And we’re going to have … somebody or several somebodies advising us, and they’re going to help us make a determination based upon whether it’s on the field performance or just general qualifications for the job.”