Column: Fearless (or Clueless) Leaders

For the past 18 months, the fans have heard how the new regime in Detroit was no-nonsense, how they were football guys, not bean-counters. Fifteen losses and only 2 victories later, the Lions and their fans seem to be following leaders without a clue.

For the past 18 months, the fans have heard how the new regime was no-nonsense, how they were football guys, not bean-counters. Fifteen losses and only 2 victories later, the Lions seem to be following leaders without a clue.

For those that can remember last season's dreadful occurrences, one might recall the weekly zoom-in of Matt Millen's facial expression as yet another game got away from the Lions. It almost seemed as if it was tradition for the Lions to, in some way blow the game, and after showing the opponent celebrate, the next view was that of a blank stare from Millen. And of course the excuses followed: bad players, no team speed, etc. So when the off season came around once again, it was thought that Millen would make the necessary changes and fill in the obvious holes, among them a general lack of speed, as well as holes in the Secondary and a majority of the skill positions on the offensive side of the ball.

And while the old saying that Rome wasn't build in a day definitely can apply here, for the most part Millen needed to fill the obvious holes. Unfortunately, and this is simply the bottom line, Millen didn't do his job.

Among the Lions starters were aging cornerbacks Todd Lyght and Eric Davis, oft-injured outside linebacker Brian Williams, defensive end James Hall, and third-down running back Lamont Warren, and that's not even including players like the one-dimensional TE Mikhael Ricks. Many more unintelligent moves were made, this is simply the tip of the iceberg.

But, while the man at the top is responsible for the entire team, don't let others stray away from their share of the blame, namely Head Coach Marty Mornhinweg. Mornhinweg, a proclaimed offensive guru, has yet to show any consistency with his offensive juggernaut. Despite having just spent $30 million combined on his revamped receiving corp. as well as having an Offensive Line built from high draft picks and a Pro Bowler, the offensive production was at best pathetic. Some of this was due to the fact that starting running back James Stewart was out, but at the same time Mornhinweg cut UDFA James Mungro, the only other conventional Tailback the Lions had on the preseason roster.

The new regime came in heralded as the savior to the Detroit Lions problems, that the days of the bean-counters in charge of football were over. However, at least the bean counters kept the team competitive and giving a strong effort. The only thing that has been produced since the overhaul has been a pathetic brand of football that has possibly never been witnessed in Detroit, which is saying a lot considering all of the pathetic Lion squads there have been over the years.

Does this mean a change needs to be made tomorrow? No. Firing a coach or a GM one game into the season is as dumb as benching your starting Quarterback after a sub-par start in the season opener. Wait, that already happened? Oh? In any case, the season is not over yet. But another 15 games like the opener against Miami, another repeat of last year's retched season, and we'll probably be looking at another rebuilding, and another new regime, and more lackluster seasons before competitive football will return to Detroit.

The Lions future has possibly never looked this bleak.


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