Right now, as of this very moment, many Lions fans, despite them being 1-7, are pretty happy.
Martha Ford, at a spry 90 years of age, is starting to clean house.
Gone is the non-effective President Tom Lewand. I’m not sure what his accomplishments were while he was with the Lions other than helping getting Ford Field built and getting the Super Bowl played there in 2006.
As president of the Lions, he was supposedly responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Detroit Lions organization. I think we can all assume he was a big fail in the aspect of putting together a consistent, winning football team.
One of his major responsibility was to negotiate player contracts and manage the salary cap. I’ve looked in several areas regarding Mr. Lewand’s background and while he holds degrees earned from the University of Michigan in law, Business Administration (Masters) and Political Science and Economics (undergraduate), I see very little relating to football. I doubt if he’s ever played the game.
Some will say that a football background isn’t necessary in dealing with player contracts and salary cap. I say that you need to know the business your in to manage it properly.
Also gone is GM Martin Mayhew. He was hired by the villain Matt Millen. When that useless piece of trash was fired, William Clay Ford, Sr. went with his recommendation to hire Mayhew as his replacement.
Really? You take the word of a man who drove a proud organization into the ground and to the first 0-16 season in NFL history?
Mayhew didn’t do too bad his first few years. He basically fleeced the Dallas Cowboys with his first trade, that of Roy Williams for 4 draft picks (1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th) in 2009.
Out of that, with what you could call a successful pick, would be Brandon Pettigrew who is still with the team. Derrick Williams, in his 4 years as WR with the Lions had a total of 9 catches for 82 yards and is out of football. Running back Aaron Brown, in his 4 years as a Lion, rushed for 189 yards and is also out of football.
There are other trades of note but of the 28 trades he made, I would say he missed more than he hit on.
But at least Mayhew knew football. He played the game for 8 years in the secondary and had 21 career interceptions. Funny that a guy with that kind of success just could never get the right players for the Lions secondary.
So just where does this team go from here? There has been a lot of speculation that head coach Jim Caldwell will be gone after the season…and I have to agree with that. He has been a mostly ineffective and directionless leader this year. I don’t think his strength is being a head coach, I believe it lies as an offensive coordinator or QB coach.
But Lions fans have been down this road before. What I am hoping is that Martha and her daughters (Bill Ford Jr. has publicly stated that he is stepping away from the Lions) see the wisdom of hiring someone like Mike Holmgren or Ron Wolf to find the right General Manager for this team.
The new GM needs to have a solid football background. Someone who knows what a successful team looks like and be allowed to build it. So it would be no surprise the Lions would look at successful teams to find one.
I would look at one of the most successful franchises of the past decade, the New England Patriots. Nick Caserio, currently the director of player personnel for the Patriots, was a key member for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Want some youth and perhaps a new way of thinking but still want an NFL football pedigree? If the Lions can wrestle away Elliot Wolf from the Green Bay Packers, they would have it. He is the son of Ron Wolf and was promoted to player personnel in January. At 33 years of age, he would breath some new life into this franchise. But I’m not sure he would be willing to leave the Packers. Too strong a tie to the team.
Maybe the best bet would be Trent Kirchner, co-director of player personnel with the Seattle Seahawks. He has an extensive history as a scout with the Carolina Panthers and was a large part of a staff with the Seahawks that went to back-to-back Super Bowls. With him, you bring part of Seattle’s shrewdness in drafting as well as making deals for key players.
I won’t get into new head coaches nor will I speculate on Matthew Stafford. A GM will more than likely want to hire his own head coach which is why I think Caldwell is out after this year.
As for Stafford, I still think he has way too much talent to give up on him. But it wouldn’t be a bad idea to draft a QB and allow for some transition. Besides, Stafford is only 27 years old…and too be honest, I think he can still be successful with a good offensive line in front of him as well as some better play calling.
The Lions need to stop repeating history. I can only hope that Martha Ford breaks the trend that was set by her husband. If these firings of Lewand and Mayhew are any indication, I would say that she is. But we have heard from the Lions front office before that “the fans deserve a winner” mantra.
But not in her voice….until now.