Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Boo-Hoo, picked Mayhew - Lets Move On

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!!


Mark in AZ said...

Nice piece thanks for the info. Go Lions. I have a gut feeling that Mayhew will be the real deal. I sell cars and I had the same gut feeling when I have a car deal i just have it.

Isphet said...

I also thought that Mayhew and Lewand handled their first press day as well as they possibly could. It wasn't a "rah rah lets cheer for our team, we're gonna win!" manufactured moment, it was a real, genuine: "This is where we are, we have a plan to change it, and we're going to stick to the plan." I was heartened a little by the way they handled the situation. They seem like men of reason and logic; two things Millen seemed to completely lack.

I will always put my faith into men of reason and logic; those are the men that make the world work. If they stick to their plan, and it's a good one, it doesn't matter if they were here during the Millen years: the Lions will be a good team under them. Will the future actually manifest itself this way? Only time will tell.

CHIEFGER139 said...

I will support whoever they bring in and mayhew now that hes here-Im sure they will listen to the coaches wants for players- there just not gonna let him pay big bucks for some over the hill free agent in the twilight of his career like rod went wild with the washed up bucs and culpeper for that matter because they know theres no quick fixes for this team. Once we get better free agents will want to come here at a lower salary and a good free agent who could give us a couple years then may be the differnce between making the playoffs or not-mayhews smart-stay away from them guys and go young guys at this time-I bet you will see meany of our seasoned vets cut this year.

RIP said...

I love what Mayhew is doing so far.
He is adding to the list of people to intervieaw. This just adds more notes to review and pocket for tommorrow and beyond. A student of the profession and now taking advantage of the rare situation to learn more from other sources for future references. He has set himself up for this by not only looking for head coaches but for interviews with personnel people. Another words, the best of both worlds to learn from and then to try and make the best decision.

Mark in AZ said...

I found this at Netrat's page goor reading more to it @http://thenetrat.blogspot.com/

Mayhew is a lawyer. He has helped Lewand with contracts, even getting some reluctant players to sign when talks broke down, but he is more then that. He worked in the personnel department for the Redskins long before working in Detroit, and he is a former player. In fact, he has a superbowl ring from his days as a cornerback for the Redskin, the year was 1991, the team they beat to get into the superbowl was none other then the Detroit Lions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NFL_playoffs,_1991-92

Go Lions

DetFan1979 said...

Happy New Year!!

You can also find link to NetRat's site in my links section on the right. Heck of a Lions fan, capologist, and more than passing fair at FFB among other things.

CHIEFGER139 said...

just found out my wife got robbed again she works at a pharmacy in a small town in michigan-last one almost ended us living here-she sounds good but hasnt come home yet im home alone with my grandkid and two of our friends sounds like my wife is fine but thought she was last time and wasnt-hope i handle it this time better!!

DetFan1979 said...

Hope she's fine Chief -- we'll keep her in our thoughts. hope they catch that piece of millen!!