Saunders works closely with Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Martin Mayhew and oversees the team’s football operations, including the coordination of the year-round football calendar. Among his football operations duties, Saunders oversees the Lions’ player development department, video department, equipment operations, team travel, athletic training staff, strength and conditioning, cafeteria operations, security department and human resources. Along with the coordination of those departments, he handles the annual budgets for the coaching staff, coaching support staff and player personnel department.
He also assists with player personnel, including the development of the team’s roster, college scouting and on-campus visits and pro talent evaluation. Saunders plays a role in the coordination of the team’s free agency and draft agenda, including free agent and draft eligible visits.
Each season, Saunders is responsible for interviewing and hiring coaching interns as part of the NFL Minority Coaching Program.
In addition to his various football operations responsibilities, he also assists with contract negotiations.
This past off-season, Saunders attended the NFL Career Development Symposium for General Manager and Head Coach talent held at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the most prestigious business schools in the country.
While directing the player development department in Tampa Bay, Saunders helped get players involved in continuing education programs, off-season internships and jobs to prepare for possible post-NFL careers. He was also the main contact between the players and the club’s community relations department and encouraged player involvement in charities and community activities.
Prior to joining the Buccaneers, Saunders spent the previous two seasons as an area scout for the Kansas City Chiefs, evaluating college talent in the Midwest. A native of Sarasota, Fla., Saunders was in training camp for three seasons with Tampa Bay (1994-96), and saw action on both the practice squad and active roster in 1995 as a tight end and special teams player. He also played with the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe in 1997.
A four-year starter at Ohio State, Saunders posted 68 career receptions for 853 yards for the Buckeyes. He recorded 27 catches and earned second-team All-Big 10 honors as a senior in 1993 and was an honorable mention selection as a junior.
Saunders and his wife, Bashi, have two daughters, Reegan and Charlie Bleu, and two sons, Cayden and Kai.
No player spent more time playing for William Clay Ford than Jason Hanson, who spent all 21 of his NFL seasons in Detroit
Mr. Ford cared about the people who worked for his franchise, his willingness to remain in the wings and let them do their jobs, and his passion for the game
Charlie Sanders sits down with columnist Mike O'Hara to discuss the legacy of Lions owner and chairman William Clay Ford, who passed away at the age of 88.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issues a statement on the passing of William Clay Ford Sr. Also, hear reaction from Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
NFL Media Analyst Michael Silver discusses the passing of Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford, Sr. and explains how the franchise will be impacted going forward.
Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert talks about his experience at the combine and his thoughts on being projected as the number one defensive back in the 2014 NFL Draft.