Cook: As The (Lions) World Turns

The Detroit Lions season has been filled with drama, intrigue and power struggles. Unfortunately, it's not on the field where we can all see it, it's on the sidelines. columnist James Cook shares his take on the Mike Williams saga and Detroit's interesting (albeit winless) season.

The Detroit Lions season has been filled with drama, intrigue and power struggles.

Unfortunately, it's not on the field where we can all see it, it's on the sidelines.

There's the Rod Marinelli-Mike Williams standoff that is entering Waco proportions. ATF agents may surround the Lions' Allen Park practice facility at any time. Luckily, Janet Reno is nowhere to be seen.

And then there's the supposed Rod Marinelli-Donnie Henderson quibble over the defense. Honestly, what are they fighting over? Fighting over this defense is like arguing with your friend over who is going to go home with the fat drunk chick at the end of the bar at 2 a.m. Is the winner really getting anything worth having?

It's not too hard to guess at what Marinelli is trying to do here. He's trying to mold BMW into his type of player, instill some fire in a guy whose pilot light has been off for quite some time.

However, at the same time, he appears to be alienating some players who think that even at 80%, Williams can help this team.

Roy Williams spouts off every week about how BMW should be playing. How is that public questioning of the team's handling of this hurting team morale any less than Marinelli taking a hit for the team and putting big Mike on the field?

What's the worst that can happen? Well, that depends on what perspective you look at it from.

From Marinelli's point of view, the worst could be that BMW comes in and produces, making his decision to bench the kid look all that more silly. Marinelli's best-case scenario if he is forced to play Williams before he wants, is perhaps that BMW falls flat on his face and costs the Lions another game (like the defense wouldn't have given it away anyway). No more harm done than we expect, and Marinelli still looks like he is in charge and knows what's best.

At a time when the defense is regularly pulling a matador routine, minus the swords, the offense can use every advantage possible in order to try to outscore the opposition. Because that appears what is necessary to win.

The defense simply doesn't look like it can stop anybody at this point, and until they do that half of the team can't be counted on to contribute to wins.

Only two teams have given up more points than the Lions. That is pretty sad, considering Detroit gave up only nine to arguably the best team it has faced. Oh, and of those two teams, even the 49ers have still managed to win a game. Ouch.

The last three weeks, you'd have a hard time finding which was the bigger embarrassment -- the Lions defense or Joe Cullen's naked driving stunt. At least Cullen has a curable problem to blame for his actions and has taken responsibility for them.

The defense, on the other hand, is in shambles and belongs in some kind of recovery program as much as Cullen.

Hey, all Cullen did was get blitzed and go to a drive-through fast food joint. The Lions, on the other hand, rarely blitz and let other teams drive right on through without paying. Cullen probably had more pressure on his bladder that night than opposing quarterbacks have faced from Detroit's defensive line all year.

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