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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.

11/21/2008

Talking Mayhew

I received a couple emails after my appearance on Tom Kowalski's “The Point After” Lions show Thursday  night, one saying I was spot on with my take on the team's general-manager search and one saying I was too complimentary of acting GM Martin Mayhew. It goes to show that people hear what they want to from some of these things, but for those that missed it here's my take:

Mayhew, Tom Lewand and the rest of the front office have a definite chance of staying in power after the season. Lewand, many people feel, is unlikely to go anywhere for some of the accomplishments he's had and relationships he's made. Mayhew has acquitted himself nicely in the almost two months since he took over for Matt Millen. He's made several wise free-agent signings to improve the roster (Daunte Culpepper, Moran Norris and Stu Schweigert) and he got absolute value in dealing Roy Williams to Dallas for three draft picks.

I think Mayhew can and will be a good general manager in this league. He's intensely private so I won't pretend to know him well, but he appears to be a bright football mind with excellent negotiating skills and a thorough understanding of the NFL landscape. A current general manager with another NFC team told me last month that Mayhew got better value for Williams at the trade deadline than he would have at this year's draft or could have last April, when more teams were bidding on the receiver.

That said, I think the Lions would be wise to conduct a thorough search after the season, the groundwork for which will be laid in the coming weeks. Scott Pioli, Shack Harris, Reggie McKenzie, Kevin Colbert, Tom Heckert, Nick Caserio and others should be interviewed, and in the end I think the Lions will do what's in their best interests and hire someone from outside the organization.

Mayhew, unfortunately and through no fault of his own, enters the process with two strikes against him for his association with Millen and the Lions' prolonged 31-91 skid. Fans are fed up with losing (as evidenced by three straight blackouts and falling attendance at Ford Field), and with the state of the economy the franchise faces an uphill battle to retain and grow its ticket base next year.

Football decisions should never be made solely for business reasons, and hiring any name on that list short of Pioli won't lead to a spike in individual or corporate sales. But as good as Mayhew might be, there are many people and many ways to win in the NFL and the Lions would be foolish not to investigate them all. At the end of the day, I think that realization coupled with the fact that this truly is a good job and will attract good people will be too much for an organization hemorrhaging support to ignore.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

just cuz you were on tom's show last night dave, i'm gonna check it out. you should be our beat writer for the lions.

2:48 PM 
Anonymous Mike said...

Trying to figure out how Schwigart and Culepper were any kind of shrewd signings. I know you didn't say that but I give Mayhew no real credit for these two.

1. Culpepper has shown nothing more than the exact reason he hasn't gotten a starting job yet. If not for the absolutely horrific void in talent at QB in Detroit, Culpepper would never see the field. He has been what he should be...backup material. Meanwhile he is sitting on the sidelines with little (I didn't say none) interest from other teams and no interest from a team with an offer to be a starter.

2. Schwiegert was a substitute teach for goodness sakes. Nobody wanted this guy except the Lions who are as void of talent at safety outside of Bullocks as they are at QB.

No...neither of these two validates anything as to Mayhew's competency as a GM. He did well with the Roy trade and has done nothing else of note.

2:56 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ding. Ding.

Mayhew is fine but the Lions need to clean house. Get Pioli PLEASE. The Browns are gonna get Cowher. We have to mke a move.

6:33 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's really no reason for a new GM to broom Mayhew if he's justifies his position. Thus, I don't see the hiring of a new GM necessarily means Mayhew is out the door.

As for the GM list, I like anybody but Heckert.

7:43 AM 

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