Blog Entry

What took so long?

Posted on: September 24, 2008 12:16 pm

So the Detroit Lions have finally rid themselves of president Matt Millen?

What the heck took so long?

Millen's job status was the brunt of jokes all over the country -- although Lions fans probably think otherwise -- and yet the Ford family, which owns the team, sat back and watched him lead the team nowhere, his drafting ineptness a joke among the legions of scouts I talked to over the years. You can’t say he ran it into the ground because the Lions seem to always be down low, but he didn't do anything to change the culture.

The big question is what made it happen now. Did somebody finally find the negatives Millen had of the Ford's in compromising positions, the one thing he had keeping him in charge? Relax. It's a joke.

What changed was the Ford family probably had enough of the abuse coming the team's way because of Millen. The fans had enough. The Detroit media was killing them.

You can't hide a 31-84 record. It speaks for itself. Loudly, like Millen did when he was drawing up plays as an NFL analyst.

How many times did Millen's Lions teams been to the playoffs? Try never.

He took a team that went 9-7 the year before he arrived as president in 2001 and has taken it lower and lower and lower.

Moral of the story: Don't hire a broadcaster to run your team.

Millen sounded like he knew what he was talking about when he was a broadcaster of NFL game. But he didn't come up on the fundamentals of player evaluation and lacked the scouting eye.

Broadcasters make knee-jerk reactions. That doesn't work in the real world. Scouting is a craft that must be fine-tuned.

Look at Millen's drafts. They were horrible. That's the big problem. Millen drafted 62 players in his tenure. Of those 62, 10 started last week against the San Francisco 49ers, including rookies Kevin Smith and Gosder Cherilus.

That means he landed eight starters from his first seven drafts. Pathetic. That span of drafting includes the foolishness of drafting three receivers in three successive seasons with top-10 picks. It started in 2003 with Charles Rogers (second overall), then Roy Williams (seventh) in 2004 with Mike Williams (10th) in 2005. Rogers and Williams are out of football.

Their failures led to Millen using the second overall pick in 2007 on receiver Calvin Johnson.

Chasing flopped picks is a NFL executive's curse. It will lead to the firing line.

Johnson and Roy Williams are quality receivers, but in Millen's desire to correct the receiving issues, the quarterback situation never improved.

Millen missed on Joey Harrington, with the third overall pick in 2003, and hasn't fixed that spot since.

Of his eight first-round picks from 2001-2007, Williams, Johnson, linebacker Ernie Sims and left tackle Jeff Backus are the only starters.

That's what happens when teams hire men who don't come up through the scouting ranks. There are so many good football men out there, guys who have paid their dues, who get shafted because they don't have a name.

The Atlanta Falcons hired one of those types of men in Thomas Dimitroff to run their football operations. There are more out there just like him. Smart owners will look that way. Pencil-pushing, number-crunching executives and name broadcasters don't cut it.

You can't just pop out of the TV booth and expect to know how to pick players.

Matt Millen is proof. Now he's gone, which brings up this question:

Who has those negatives now?






Category: NFL
Tags: Matt Millen

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: September 26, 2008 9:15 am

What took so long?


Since: Sep 21, 2008
Posted on: September 25, 2008 2:08 pm

What took so long?

Can we all start the Mike Brown watch now? For crying out loud, he won't even allow us to have a GM.

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: September 25, 2008 2:00 pm

What took so long?

When CBS Sports fires Prisco, all of us will be sating the same thing, "What took so long!"

Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: September 25, 2008 1:37 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: September 25, 2008 1:32 pm

What took so long?

Not as funny as it was watching them draft Heisman trophy winning quarterbacks every two years like they did in the 80's.

Millen? Idiot.
Fords? Idiots forever...priceless

Since: Apr 3, 2008
Posted on: September 25, 2008 1:25 pm

What took so long?

Let this be a lesson, teams are private franchises like your Local Burger King or Dominos franchise, the customers are the fans and if they eat the food even though that franchise may be lesser quality than the other franchises the owner will not change and invest to make it better.  the fans finally stayed away from Ford Fiield and stop supporting the Detroit Lions and that is what led to change. Bottom line if your franchise makes bad descisions don't go to the games!!!

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: September 25, 2008 11:35 am

What took so long?

I love how the problem child is always the last one to get caught and blamed. Many coaches and personel have gone through without a chance and MILLan is the one that always kept his job. This is a really sad day in the NFC North Division. The Lions might actaully get better in 10 years now and we cant count on the 2 wins from the lions every year now maybe. But then again, its still the lions so who knows.

Since: Sep 23, 2008
Posted on: September 25, 2008 10:50 am

What took so long?

Lets stop all the rippin of a god football man! Alright he mucked up but the owners need to take a bit of the blame aswell... as for the drafts well he shoulders the blame but at least he took risks... look at the Cards, Browns, Benglas, and maybe even now the once mighty Raiders teams who have gone about drafts quietly without major success...

Since: Jun 11, 2007
Posted on: September 25, 2008 10:18 am

What took so long?

problem being - salary cap.  The other thing Millen did is manage to make our team one of the worst as far as available salary under the cap in order to make the  changes you speak of.  If we want to make the changes we will likely give up someone good.  Only person that comes to mind is Roy Williams.  I think he wants out anyway, so. 

Since: Aug 21, 2007
Posted on: September 25, 2008 9:59 am

What took so long?

Matt Millen is to NFL scouting as Pete "the stiff" Prisco is to NFL writing.


This guy has absolutely no credibilty in the field of football, he reminds me of some nerdy sports writer who never played any competitive sports in his life and has these rediculous opinions that are so transparent it sickens me this guys has a job.  Everytime I decide to read an article of his I feel dumber after reading it.   But in this case even Prisco can tell Millen is bum, so I'll give Prisco credit for stating the  obvious. 

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