I posted my first story on Matt Millen's firing about two hours ago Click Here but now that I've talked to a few people here's some extra filling to flesh it out:
William Clay Ford and Matt Millen spoke earlier this week or over the weekend and then again last night, when Ford made the decision to fire Millen after seven-plus years as team president. Millen is the only casualty. Rod Marinelli and the rest of his staff are here and likely will finish out the season. Tom Lewand will run the day-to-day activities the rest of this year.
Ford's decision was reaffirmed this morning and announced in a staff meeting around 10 a.m. From what I've been told, neither the owner nor his son, Bill Ford Jr., have met with Marinelli yet, though they are expected to talk within the hour.
On one level this could be good for Marinelli and his staff. It allows them to distinguish themselves over the final 13 games without the cloud of Millen hanging over their heads. Players, too, were put on notice that any and all of them could be approaching their final season with the Lions. I'd expect them to play hard over the final 13 weeks.
As for where the Lions go from here, it's way too early to tell. By making the move now, they have three full months to conduct a thorough interview process and find a qualified candidate, one I'd expect to come with much more personnel experience than Millen. Two names to throw out and these are not off an organization short list, just my own two cents Eagles general manager Tom Heckert, an Adrian native, and Nick Caserio, the Patriots' director of player of personnel.
Ford Jr. and others in the organization like Marinelli and realize the rebuilding job he had, but that does not mean for sure he'll be back next year. A new GM could very well want his own people in place.
Either way, the scene at the Allen Park practice facility is sort of surreal. A parade of fans has been driving by all morning honking their horns and waving Lions flags as if they've been liberated.