Mornhinweg Remains Stoic in Press Conference

During Monday's media briefing, Lions' head coach Marty Mornhinweg -- facing an onslaught of questions regarding his job security -- said his status is "irrelevant" and that team's progress is all that matters. Lions' insider Mike Fowler takes a deeper look.

(ALLEN PARK, MI) -- Did the Lions comeback effort in their 37-31 loss to Green Bay ease any of the pressure on head man Marty Mornhinweg? If it did, you couldn't tell it by Monday's press conference.

Mornhinweg fielded several questions about his job security and remained stoic in the face of every question thrown at him.

"This football team is the important thing. My personal situation is irrelevant and is unimportant to the state of this football team," Mornhinweg repeatedly stated regarding his job status.

Many have speculated that Mornhinweg must win one of the next two contest; at home against 3-0 New Orleans and on the road against 0-3 Minnesota; or he will be fired. Some have said Detroit must win both in order for the coach to save his skin.

When considering such a scenario one must consider a few factors. William Clay Ford, Sr. never really wanted to hire Matt Millen or Marty Mornhinweg and was basically sold on the move by his son, Bill Ford, Jr. who is making a lot of the calls, but still is only the vice-chairman of the team.

Ford, Sr. felt much closer to men like Bobby Ross and Gary Moeller, who he was able to talk and socialize with. Mornhinweg is from Ford, Jr.'s generation. That is why the thought of a Bill Walsh like figure getting involved with Detroit gained steam.

It would not be surprising if Detroit made the move to someone like Sherman Lewis. Lewis is already on staff as a special assistant and has a pedigree unlike any other assistant coach in the league.

A 20-year NFL veteran, Lewis' teams have been in the playoffs 15 of those years, won 11 division championships, 5 NFC championships and 4 Super Bowls.

While Lewis was the offensive coordinator in Minnesota, the Vikings advanced to the NFC Championship game only to be upset by the Atlanta Falcons. Since his departure from Minnesota, the Vikings have a 5-14 record.

While the Lions tout Mornhinweg as a key factor in the development of Packers' quarterback Brett Favre, Favre himself doesn't see it that way. Favre credits Mike Holmgren and Steve Mariucci for his development. While he doesn't say anything negative about Mornhinweg, reports say he doesn't give him credit for his development either.

Mornhinweg was asked if it was fair for him to be getting such heat when clearly he doesn't have the talent to compete with the top eschelon teams.

"I'm not going to answer all kinds of questions, I've just made my statement, Mornhinweg said adamantly, "It's unimportant, it's irrelevant. The thing that is important is this football team getting better every single day."

He further stated that he feels no extra pressure to get a win in the face of the upcoming bye week when the speculation is that he could be fired by then.

Maybe it's the five-year contract with four years to run that give him such calm assurance. Maybe it's knowing Matt Millen, the Lions CEO and GM who made the call on most of the players, is squarely in his corner. Maybe it's his confidence that his team is just about to turn the corner, as Bill Walsh stated in his brief visit to the Lions facility last week.

Whatever it is, Mornhinweg says it's the team that matters.


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