Monday, March 13, 2006

Urgency: defined as something of pressing importance requiring speedy action

A sense of urgency. It's a good thing to have when you are trying to establish a winning philosophy. When you haven't won anything in a decade or more, you'd think a sense of urgency would be essential. That urgency is what Jim Leyland and the Tigers are trying to establish, succuessfuly so far, according to Eno. I'm inclined to agree. Leyland is not accepting the Tigers past status quo of lowered standards, and has been quite vocal in those feelings.

So that put me to thinking, who else in Detroit needs to up their urgency quotient? What teams immeadiately come to mind? The Lions and Wolverine basketball.

But that sense of urgency that the Tigers are desperately trying to establish is what Matt Millen and the Lions are missing during the opening days of free agency. You could say the same thing about Tommy Amaker and the Wolverine basketball team, in their belief that a NCAA seed was locked up a month ago.

Neither situation is one where you should think you are set to go. You'd either be clueless or have your head in the sand, most likely both. What it does show is that Millen and Amaker feel little to no pressure from above for immeadiate improvement. William Clay Ford and Bill Martin seem happy with infantesimal progress, if any. Hard to believe, but that's what their not asking for some sort of accountability shows.

The Lions conspicuous lack of activty in regard to free agency tells you one thing. That in Matt Millen's pathologically delusional mind, he's positive that he already has a playoff team in place. He has to feel the reason they didn't make the playoffs last year falls squarely on Steve Marruicci. Why else would the Lions not pursue any top tier free agents? Why the reports that the Lions think their main priority is resigning their own free agents, the ones that led them to that wonderful 6-10 record and a fan revolt? All we've seen coming to Detroit for an interview/pitch are 2 backup QB's and a #4 receiver. (I just heard the Lions signed that reciever, Corey Bradford. What an...underwhelming signing)

While the best players are quickly being locked up by more aggressive organizations, the Lions are in wait and see mode. It's looking more and more as if the Lions are just going to patch up their gaping holes with second tier free agents and the draft. Sure, my opinion could change if the Lions land a Julian Peterson. There's been no signs of that happening, unfortunately. The onus is being put on the new coaching staff and their (Hopefully) upgraded schemes to make this team a winner. It sure doesn't look like it'll be via a major upgrade in personnel. That's an awful situation for a rookie head coach.

Tommy Amaker, on the other hand, let his players think a NCAA berth was a done deal. Amaker coached as if the tournament was a given. Daniel Horton was even quoted as saying that they thought a bid was locked up after beating the Illini. Big talk from a team that played a cupcake out of confrence schedule, didn't beat a single ranked team on the road, and played the Big 10 tournament as if it was an afterthought.

Anyone who thinks the Wolverines were jobbed out of a NCAA seed is as delusional as Millen. I sincerly hope the Wolverines don't feel that way, as they earned the snub.

I'd love to see the Michigan Mafia light a fire under the basketball program. But if Amaker felt any pressure from the administration or the mafia to make the NCAA's, he sure didn't show it. If there is one sure thing that will create a sense of urgency, it's when your job is at risk. Obviously, Amaker's job security isn't an issue at Michigan, as they seem prefectly happy with getting the #1 seed in the NIT. Talk about reaching for the stars...

Both Michigan and the Lions need to find the fire that Jim Leyland is lighting down in Lakeland. We aren't even seeing smoke signals coming out of Allen Park and Ann Arbor.

2 comments:

  1. I guess I agree with you, Al...but only to an extent w/r/t the Lions.

    I think we can all agree the Lions have made big splashes in free agency in past years with little to no returns (Fernando Bryant, Damien Woody, etc.). I don't necessarily have a problem with Millen showing some patience assuming he has a plan about the players he's targeting to try and make the team better.

    Of course, based on past performance I don't assume he has a plan, but the point is that I'm not necessarily convinced rushing into the waters and signing some "big names" is the right move.

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  2. I think the Lions are moving at a good pace for them. They won't rush into mistakes like briandtw said.

    Maybe this is a new Millen with a plan. That's not easy to type while laughing...

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