Interesting article by Killer this morning on Mlive. It states that Mayhew presented a plan to WCF on how things should be run, and how to turn things around. I'm wondering if it was Matt Millen's original plan that he outlined oh those so many years ago with the words "actually do it this time" scrawled across the top in red crayon. Seriously though, he had a good presser today, and sounded a lot more straightforward. Pardon the reference to past Lions blunders, but he has "set the bar" so to speak.
My LaMe moniker was not meant to be a jab at Mayhew so much as it was at Mr. Ford. I included an article at the time Millen was fired where Mayhew was listed as one of the top 4 GM candidates in the league by Bill Polian (Colts GM). the point I was trying to make was that if your organization has that many problems, why not at least LOOK at what is out there?
That all being said, it's time to move on and accept the fact that Martin Mayhew is the new GM. And, in typical sunny DF79 fashion, I'm going to look on the bright side and say he'll do at least well enough to get the Lions into the middle of the pack again, and maybe even a playoff game by 2012. I agree with a fellow on the last article that we need to look at it from the point of view of another team: If you were say, a Browns fan and they hired Mayhew -- who is young but a man who Bill Polian says is a good propect, how would you feel? (After all, the Lions may have gone 0-16, but at least they didn't go SIX games in a row without an offensive TD!)
I still want to see who they bring in to handle scouting/pro-personnel. It was kind of a quiet move that they removed their top remaining personnel guy, and have yet to replace him. That is who they are looking to hire right now. That alone tells me that they are at least moving in a *gasp* logical direction since neither Mayhew nor Lewand have extensive player personnel backgrounds. To be looking for a premier personnel guy right now is what they should be doing. Kudos.
I've seen Tom Heckert, the Eagles GM (someone I mentioned before) mentioned as someone the Lions want. Remember, Andy Reid essentially has final say on personnel in Philly, and he is getting pressured out there. Reid is closing in on the backside of his coaching days, and when he goes Heckert is likely to go too. Jeff Laurie of the Eagles prefers a style where the coach make the decisions.
All the being said, not sure if he'd like to move to the Lions, that's for sure. While he would be under Mayhew, it's obvious Mayhew wants to bring in someone to handle personnel so that he can concentrate on the big picture. He would be the Scott Pioli of the Lions.
He would also need a coach that would work well with him -- someone like, say, Steve Spagnuolo? who came from Philly and essentially runs a similar pressure style defense that the Eagles do?
They are also interviewing a lot of other coordinators/former coordinators for their first coaching interviews. I'm not big on McDaniels or Garrett for different reasons. Dallas has seriously underperformed with much more talented group overall. Meanwhile, former New England assistants (two of whom are currently unemployed, and one who is close) haven't exactly been doing well once they leave New England.
So while I took the opportunity for venting yesterday -- that was yesterday. The Ifseason is upon us, and that my friends is a time of hope.
First up on the platter for me before seeing who they keep/don't keep personnel wise and who they go after in FA (no big names, I'm pretty sure Mayhew isn't going to make that Millen mistake.) are two things:
1. Who they hire as their new personnel guru
2. Who the new head coach and his coordinators end up being.
There has been speculation for some time that there were those in the organization who didn't agree with the big FA contracts and loads of guaranteed money that Millen kept handing out. For yet another object lesson in how well this works, look at the 2008 NY Jets. They are stuck with a $160 million in guaranteed money spending spree they won't soon be free of. And all they have to show for it is an at the end future HOF QB and some aging Olinemen, and an aging Dlineman who really showed their age as the season wore on. The teams that have had success have been careful to draft replacements for players on the roster early, so as not to be held hostage to FA. This also helps conserve cap space to keep those special players who cannot easily be replaced. Just look at the colts and Cato June, Jason Davids, Jake Scott, Tony Ugoh, Edgerrin James, Dwight Freeney just to name a few in the various categories.
So I am willing to give Mayhew my optimism (even if it be tempered until he does what he has promised -- and shows us his plan via his actions, not his words).
So far, there is reason to believe that he and Lewand are focused in on the right kinds of things. They brought in Culpepper for what, half a season at veteran minimum with an option for a second year at veteran backup money? The Roy trade, while a product of "want" on Dallas' part, was also played as well is it possibly could have been played by the Lions. Much better by far than trades of Shaun Rogers and Dre Bly. (labeling someone a cancer, making it obvious you're not going to keep them publicly, and THEN trying to trade them isn't exactly a great strategy for getting value. )
I like Chief's slogan on the last blog, although it is a bit long for me. How about just "Lions fine in 2009!"
I'm sure we can all cheer and hope for that, and not be disappointed in the least.
BTW - you are now all rooting for San Diego go to the Superbowl, as it will increase the draft position Detroit got from the Roy Williams trade from #20 in round one to #19, and #18 in round 3 to #17 (82 to 81 overall). what most news outlets are missing is that the 5 9-7 teams cycle through the picks as far as draft order due to an obscure tie-breaking formula. Dallas was 4th worst of the 5.
Lions have cap space next season to sign those two first rounders, keep the guys from the current squad they want to lock into extensions (Daniel Bullocks and Keith Smith come to mind off the top of my head. Re-Signing DanO would be fine with me too since it would indicate no rookie saviour QB in round one. With the defense that Detroit doesn't have, that is not the way to go!)
Lions fine in 2009! Hello Ifseason!! Go Chargers!!