The decision to bring in Mariucci just one week removed from the firing of former head coach Marty Mornhinweg was a poorly kept secret. At the time, Millen stated that the organization would follow the NFL's guidelines to interview minority coaches.
However, because of the evident interest in the former 49ers' head coach, requests made by Detroit to interview minority candidates were denied. The Lions did not comment on reports that a group led by lawyer Johnnie Cochran would lead an appeal to the league office regarding the hiring of Mariucci.
Millen did state, however, that Mariucci was an easy fit for a ball club starved for leadership.
"(Steve Mariucci) has been a winner at every level. He has tremendous experience in this League and brings unique qualities to our team. Specifically, his ability to guide the 49ers through significant roster adjustments is very impressive. His offensive system is one that we already have in place which certainly is a plus for our football team in general and some of our young offensive players in particular."