Millen Moves On

The Detroit Lions hired Matt Millen back in 2001 to run their front offce. In late September 2008, the made a change which had been anticipated for a long time.

According to's Jay Glazer, the Detroit Lions have removed Matt Millen from his job as team president and general manager.

Glazer notes Millen was informed of the move last night during a late-night high-level meeting. This morning, according to Glazer, several people within the building confirmed that he had large packing boxes in his office and he made his way around to different employees telling them of the move.

Glazer also said it's unclear if Millen was fired or removed himself from the equation but the news comes just days after Bill Ford, Jr. publicly stated he would have fired Millen if it was his decision but he lacked the authority to do so.

Glazer also points out the Lions are an NFL-worst 31-84 since Millen took over in 2001.

Looking forward, not only is the front office is disarray but the status of head coach Rod Marinelli has become an issue because Millen was the one who hired him and in NFL circles the general manager and head coach are usually tied together.

Marinelli is in his third of his four-year contract with the team and worked with Millen to acquire so-called "Marinelli guys."  Those are veterans who Marinelli targeted from his days with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The players include DE Dwayne White, CB Brian Kelly, S Kalvin Pearson, LB Ryan Nece, DT Chuck Darby, and SS Dwight Smith.

Unfortunately, those moves haven't quite proved to be fruitful as Detroit is giving up 113 points (second worst in the NFL).

As one veteran personnel evaluator told upon hearing of the news of Millen's dismissal, "I can't think of more than a few players that Millen has either drafted or signed since he took over that job (in 2001) that were very good."

Interestingly, not only did Millen fail miserably as a decision maker, a league source with knowledge of the situation says not every decision was his.

As the story goes back in the 2002 draft, the source believes decision was made that the team would draft University of Texas CB Quentin Jammer with the third pick overall in the first round.

When the scouting staff returned the next morning, some how inexplicably, Joey Harrington went to the top of their draft board--much to the dismay of everyone associated with the team including then head coach Marty Mornhinweg.

Harrington was traded before his first contract expired and he went down as one of the many draft day blunders under Millen's watch.

Other poor draft selections charged to Millen among others WR Charles Rogers (drafted in 2003/out of the league after three years) and WR Mike Williams (drafted in 2005/traded after two years).

Millen did have some success with the first of the team's two first-rounders in the 2005 draft with WR Roy Williams.

But as Glazer notes, things got so bad for Millen that the fans had their "Millen Man March", an in-game walkout protest and calls for Millen's firing for years.

Now the fans got their wish.

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