Marinelli fired; Mayhew GM
Just stepped off a plane back from Green Bay minutes ago, a thousand phone calls outstanding, but there has been fallout from the Lions' 0-16 season, the first in NFL history.
The Lions fired coach Rod Marinelli and most of his defensive staff this morning, including coordinator Joe Barry, and promoted Tom Lewand to team president and Martin Mayhew to general manager. Though they're inextricably linked to Matt Millen and the past eight years of failure, the promotions of Lewand and Mayhew come as no surprise in light of William Clay Ford's statement last week that both would be retained and assist him in the search of an additional personnel man. That hire, whenever it takes place, likely will be an assistant general manager or scouting director of some sort. It won't be a Scott Pioli type.
Marinelli, a good man who fell into a winless rut and finished 10-38 in his three years with the Lions, is expected to speak at a press conference later today. Along with Barry, secondary coach Jimmy Lake, defensive line coach Joe Cullen and assistant offensive line coach Mike Barry also were fired, and offensive coordinator Jim Colletto was re-assigned to the offensive line.
Under Barry, the Lions had the NFL's worst defense two years running. He and Lake, and to a lesser extent Cullen, were products of the Tampa 2 defense that may have seen its last legs in Detroit.
Assistants Kippy Brown (passing-game coordinator), Stan Kwan (special teams), Shawn Jefferson (receivers), Sam Gash (running backs) and others were retained and likely will be left for whoever the next coach is to pick over. None or all could return next year.