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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't think the firing of millen was a gesture of ford wanting to show us that he cares, as much as it was to get the wayward fans to come back and spend their money again.

i refuse to believe this team will get better UNTIL ford gives up control over to jr or someone else with a PROVEN track record on how to turn a franchise around and get them on the right track.

i'm going to continue to boycott until ford sr is no longer in charge and a competent owner is in place. i would advise the rest of you [fans, media, other teams' fans, other teams' media] to do the same.

i'm out.

12:24 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Millen had said that coach Marinelli was the first coach in his tenure that he was on the same page with.

Coincidentally(?) Marinelli seems almost as inept at evaluating talent as Millen was. With all the influx of TB castoffs and the players coach has brought in, the defense is worse than last year, without any real prospects of improving much if any for the remaining 13.

Marinelli and staff are lame ducks. For the remainder of the season they will be coaching like Jauron when he was the interim coach; coaching to win now in this win now league, because in all likelihood any future employment in the NFL for these coaches will depend on how well the Lions will do from here on out.

Still, the incoming new regime will need to evaluate all the players via the film, and at some point the Lions will play all their rookies and second year rookie Stanton, maybe per directive of Mayhew the messenger between Ford and Marinelli.

Question for Birkett: how are the Lions going about the search for the new regime? Are they going through the commissioner's office, have they hired a consultant, just how are they going about their executive search?

Calling Gardner White to buy the remaining unsold seats for the Bears game, I don't want to miss anything of how this all unfolds.

2:31 PM 

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