Millen: "We're doing it the right way, that's why I know it'll work."
Lions president Matt Millen spoke with beat reporters at the start of practice Thursday. He voiced support for coach Rod Marinelli, said the foundation for success has been laid, and said he believes that will translate to wins this year. Here's some of the conversation straight from Millen's mouth:
On fans jumping off the Lions bandwagon: "That's their choice. They're not jumping (the players and coaches)."
On if he still believes in this team: "Just stay the course. It's a little bump. When you know that you're doing the right things, that you got the right people. When I say doing the right things, like we're practicing the right way, we're approaching it the right way, all the little things. When all that stuff's being done, just stay the course. It's not like you have you don't have to panic, you don't have to make wholesale changes, you have to do all that stuff. It's all right here.
"I said at the beginning of the season, come on out and I think you'll like what you see. And I think the people who came out, they like what they see because they see discipline. They see the approach is right, they're practicing right. All the little things. Everybody has a different saying. Rod says pound the rock. (Joe) Paterno said take care of the little things, the big things will take care of itself. Al Davis said block, tackle and be right, baby. The successful ones all say the same thing, they say it differently. We're doing it the right way, that's why I know it'll work."
On what makes him believe this is the right way: "Because I've watched it since they started playing football 80 years ago. It hasn't changed. It's not going to change. There has to be a foundation. The foundation's laid. Now you have to keep on doing what you're doing and then the transfer, take it to the game field. They will."
On if he sees success coming this year: "Yes, absolutely. And the fact that you asked me that question bothers me because either you're asking it for your paper or you're asking it because you don't see it, and if you don't see it then you're not knowing what you're looking for."
On how much blame he deserves for the 0-2 start: "Rod stands up there and says, 'It's on me,' it's on me. It's me. That's fine. I take full (responsibility). Personally. The guys who are out here are here for a reason. It's not happenstance. I believe in the guy I hired, I believe in the staff we put together and I believe in the players we have on the field. And if you want to point the finger at any of that stuff, that's on me. I'm fine with that because I believe in what's out there. Nothing else needs to be said."
On what Lions owner William Clay Ford makes of the start: "You'd have to ask him that question, but my take on it is he's He has high expectations. When you have high expectations you also get frustrated, too. There's answers you want, too. So ... He asks all the right questions, I'll just leave it at that."