Call it a knee-jerk reaction. Call me irrational. Frankly, I don't care. Matt Millen and to a lesser extent, Marty Mornhinweg, are undeniably a complete and unmitigated disaster. This past weeks game against the Dolphins only underscores the many problems plaguing this now wretched and putrid franchise. Of course, as with any unsuccessful business, it all starts at the top. In this case that's the venerable William Clay Ford and his son Bill Jr.
Since Senior has owned the team, they have put together a string of futility the likes of which have rarely been seen in professional sports. Don't believe me? Try this figure on for size: One, count it, one playoff win in 30+ years.
I started following the Lions in 1978. Since then their MO has been to go something like 5-11 or 6-10 one year, then 8-8, 9-7, or 10-6 the next. This was deemed unacceptable by the Fords, and in their infinite wisdom, they hired in a former color-commentator in Millen with zero experience running a team, who then hired a coach with zero head coaching experience. So far their record is 2-15, 4-21 if you want to count pre-season. If these two guys were a car, they'd be the Edsel and the Pinto, respectively.
Their list of personnel mistakes are so long that brevity precludes me from listing them all; however, here are a few of the most glaring errors: Cutting enormously popular and productive DT James Jones the night before the season opener after he had agreed to a pay cut. Trading a 4th round draft pick for journeyman scrub QB Ty Detmer. Benching QB Charlie Batch in favor of Detmer, who throws seven interceptions in that game. Signing Eric Davis instead of Terrell Buckley. Keeping mediocre RB Lamont Warren over the promising rookie tailback James Mungro. Releasing injured, but young and talented cornerbacks Bryant Westbrook and Terry Fair, in favor of thirty something washed up veterans Davis and Todd Lyght.
As I write this I'm shaking my head in anger and disbelief at the idiocy and shortsightedness of these moves. The problem is that the best solution is the Fords selling the team. Well, with the team getting a new state of the art stadium named after the Ford family, as the say in the UK, that ain't bloody likely! The only other possible way to fix this mess is for the Fords to admit they made a colossal mistake in hiring Millen, fire both he and Marty, and bring in a GM with a successful track record, who in turn hires a coach a that a) has a clue, b) isn't a puppet, and c) has a presence.
And when it's all said and done, that may be Mornhinweg's biggest shortcoming; he lacks presence. So far, he seems on the verge of a breakdown after every loss, yet he somehow manages to be arrogant in the process. Not an especially inspiring combination.
The bottom line is that it's one thing to rebuild and have an plan in place, and at least pretend to not know everything. Unfortunately, M&M have acted in completely the opposite manner. I mean when Todd Lyght and Eric Davis at cornerback is your answer, then clearly you do not understand the question.
THE MOUTH THAT ROARED: A LOOK AT THE LIONS AND THE NFL
After watching the Dolphins run all over the Lions, I can only conclude that linebacker Chris Claiborne missed the bus from the hotel to the stadium.
I see Jeff Backus has decided to pick up the Brendan Stai "false start/holding penalty at the worst possible time" slack. Way to go Jeff!
Do you think Millen makes his personnel decisions based on playing Playstation with his kids? You know, like last year Bill Schroeder had better games than Johnnie Morton in the Millen family Playstation playoffs?
The way the Browns lost last week would've been very Lions-esque except they actually had a lead.
Steve Spurrier may be an arrogant jerk, but I'd love him if he were the coach of my favorite team.
Explain to me how the Steelers have three good running backs yet Detroit has zero?
Don't you just know ex Lions Rodney Peete and Terry Fair will make plays to beat their old team this week?
After the Lions lose this week, at his post game press conference, Morhinweg should keep it short and sweet and give us the infamous Daryl Rogers line: "What's a guy gotta do to get fired around here?"