Millen's firing a start
One NFL analyst I talked to yesterday summed up most Lions' fans feelings when he said William Clay Ford's firing of Matt Millen was "long overdue."
Millen led the Lions to a 31-84 record in seven-plus seasons as team president, abysmal by any means. I've heard stories in the last two days about decisions that were and weren't his on players, coaches, draft choices, etc. Some I believe, some I chalk up as his people trying to save his reputation after one of the most miserable periods any team has endured in NFL history.
Here's what I do know: The move was necessary for this franchise to move forward. Fans were so fed up with Millen and so enraged by this season's 0-3 start they were on the verge of abandoning the organization completely.
Now, Millen's firing is not a cure-all (as some of Wednesday's celebrators would have you believe). Blame runs deep throughout the organization. But it is at least a scalp of good will, a sign to fans that Ford and his son Bill Ford Jr. are intent on turning their team into a winner.
Chances are that means a complete overhaul this winter of coaches, scouts everyone. That means Rod Marinelli and his staff likely are approaching their final 13 games with the Lions. Fans may cheer that. Marinelli's not perfect and he and his staff have some gameday and philosophical issues to sort through. But by and large they're a group of good coaches who've been operating one-armed and under a dark cloud for three seasons.
It's always possible Marinelli and Co. save themselves with a determined final three months look at the NFC North standings; anything is possible but a new GM cannot come to town without the full authority to put his own people in place or the Lions will continue down their same, woeful path.
A hire is months away. The Lions will take their time and conduct a thorough search. Hopefully, they make the right decision.