Three Biggest Off-Season Moves

The three off-season moves that will have the greatest impact on the Lions: The hiring of head coach Rod Marinelli, the ridding of the west coast offense, and a fresh start at quarterback. Breakdown of each inside.

ALLEN PARK -- The three off-season moves that will have the greatest impact on the Lions:

1. The hiring of head coach Rod Marinelli.
Lions president Matt Millen felt the team needed to be tougher and more disciplined, and that is the approach it is getting in Marinelli, a highly-regarded former Tampa Bay defensive line coach in his first head coaching job.

Within a matter of weeks, the entire atmosphere had changed at the team's Allen Park headquarters. Some feathers were ruffled and a grievance was filed after the first mini-camp, costing the Lions two days of off-season workouts, but most of the young team appears to be buying into Marinelli's get-tough style.

For a team that had gotten soft and undisciplined, it is already a major change and training camp promises more of the same as offensive coordinator Mike Martz and defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson continue to flex their muscle.

2. Dumping the West Coast offense.
For whatever reasons, former coach Steve Mariucci's West Coast offense never seemed to fit the Lions talent; now we'll see if it fits any better into Martz's greatest show on turf approach.

The quarterbacks and receivers say they love the new offense but it might take a while to get all of them on the same page of the voluminous offensive playbook Martz brings with him.

3. Joey Harrington is out; Jon Kitna is in at quarterback.
Marinelli and Martz both were high on Harrington but after four years in which he took the heat from fans and even his own teammates, Harrington was simply too uncomfortable to return to the Lions locker room for a fifth season.

Harrington eventually was traded to Miami and Kitna, who was originally signed to compete with him for the No. 1 job, is expected to start. Josh McCown, a four-year veteran from Arizona, and second-year player Dan Orlovsky will compete for the backup role.


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