Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The scapegoating has begun in Allen Park

The long rumored firing of pass happy super genius offensive guru Mike Martz was made official this afternoon.

Did Martz deserve to get the ziggy? Let's look his "Accomplishments."

3 games of 9 rushing attempts or less.

31st overall in the NFL in rushing yards.

The 2nd overall pick of the NFL draft being the number 4 receiver for much of the season.

Despite the pass happy antics, no receiver had a 1000 yards season.

His hand picked QB threw for more than 4000 yards, yet had more interceptions than TD's.

Failed to develop a legit backup QB.

His QB's lead the league in being sacked.

So to answer my question...Hell yes! Martz deserved to be sent packing. His tenure was a complete failure. He's not the only coach who has completely failed, but he's the only coach to be sacrificed by Rod Marinelli, in an attempt to appease Matt Millen, who is attempting to appease William Clay Ford, who, for all accounts, couldn't give two shits.

Martz brought much of this upon himself. His hubris, thinking that his scheme made the players, was his undoing. He's not worth defending. What is worth bringing up is this...Why is Martz the only coach to be hung out to dry?

When asked by the Michigan unemployment office why he was terminated, Martz can truthfully answer, "The Lions needed a scapegoat." Martz shouldn't be the only Lions coach in the unemployment line.

The defense was worse than the offense. Much worse. As in last in the league worse. As in embarrassingly worse. If you go by track record, reputation, and the aforementioned stats, Martz has much less reason to be let go than Barry. Yet we hear nothing about Joe Barry being in any sort of trouble. There's a definite double standard at work here.

With nothing being done with Joe Barry, the first thought in my mind was of nepotism. Marinelli should never have hire is son-in-law to run the defense, as I'm positive that I'm not the only fan to have that cross their minds. I guess he felt keeping peace at the dinner table was preferable to winning games.

Speaking of coaches deserving of the ziggy, what of the special teams coach Stan Kwan? The Lions had no return game, and the coverage was so bad that Marinelli literally gave up during the Cowboys debacle. Out of sheer desperation, Marinelli had Jason Hanson pooch his kickoffs. I've never see a coach so blatantly wave the white flag in the middle of a game before. When giving the opposition the ball at the 40 yard line is your only option to prevent a big return, I think that says your special teams coach should begin prepping his resume. Yet, Kwan's still employed.

Even more confusing to me than which coaches stay with the Lions, is whom Marinelli has replacing Martz. It will take 2 heads to replace Martz? Jim Colletto and Kippy (KIPPY?!) Brown were promoted from their respective position coach jobs, and named co-coordinators? What in the HELL?

The 2008 Lions are going to be running a dumbed down version of the sophisticated Mike Martz offense, with a failed former head coach (Purdue) in Colletto and a failed former offensive coordinator (The Fish) in Kippy, calling the dumbed down plays? An offense, even in it's uber-complicated form, the rest of the NFL has already figured out? How much trouble will the NFL have in defending a "Mike Martz for Dummies" version of the offense?

That has DISASTER written all over it. Much like the Detroit Lions 2008 season.


  1. Maybe it's too early to say, but Stan Kwan keeping his job would be a near-STUNNING development, given the performance of the Lions' special teams.

    Yet isn't the special teams' performance reflective of the Matt Millen era? In past years, even when the Lions stunk, you could count on quality kickoff and punt returns, and at least decent coverage. Nowadays, there's nothing Lions fans can count on.

    And the co-offensive coordinators decision is tape-and-spit leadership at its very best. My guess is that Marinelli sees an offensive roster explicitly tailored to Martz's scheme and figures he has to somehow keep it going for at least one more season.

    Captain Obvious Statement of the Week: This thing is a friggin' mess.

  2. Ian, as always, you are right on the money.

    The offense will regress in 2008. They have a severely injured RB with no replacement currently on the roster, an old, turnover prone QB, no one knows who'll be playing on the OL, and now this patchwork co-coordinator BS?

    It's gonna be ugly...