We're 3 games into the 2008 NFL season, and the Detroit Lions are offically out of contention. They have been dominated by a good team (The Packers), and much more tellingly, by 2 bad teams (The Falcons and 49ers).
Let's sift through the rubble of another Lions' debacle, and see what's left...
1. Late last night, my knee jerk reaction to the latest Lions loss turned fiasco was for William Clay Ford to go to the nuclear option. He has no choice but to blow the entire God damn mess up, nuke this NFL franchise (in name only) from orbit.
Ford needs to fire everyone even remotely linked to the team, from Matt Millen and Tom Lewand at the top, all the way down to the Allen Park HQ janitorial staff, and everyone in between. You all had your chance, and failed miserably. The time for new blood has arrived.
After sleeping on it, I still feel the same way. If you read the comments from my last few posts, check out the message boards, listen to sports talk radio, read the fishwraps, EVERYONE in Detroit feels as I do...save for the only person whose opinion counts, that of William Clay Ford.
It's sad to think that even the senile Al Davis, who is thisclose to firing Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin, has a better mental grasp on the dire straits of his team than Ford. At least the baby food eating and Depends wearing Davis is on the verge of taking some sort of action in regard to the Raiders' struggles, while Ford gives his defacto approval of the performances of Millen, Lewand, Rod Marinelli and the roster they've assembled, by not asking for any sort of accountability.
As it's apparent Ford isn't going to the nuclear option right away, we have no choice but to hope the Lions fully implode, if they haven't already, and finish the season 2-14, 3-13, Hell, even 0-16. They must finish the season with a record so bad, so disappointing, so embarrassing, Ford has absolutely no choice but to put front office and coaching heads on the chopping block.
It's our only chance for much needed change.
2. There is no defending Rod Marinelli at this point. If his butchering of clock at the end of the 1st half yesterday isn't conformation enough that he is a position coach masquerading as a head coach, you'll never be convinced.
Marinelli's decision making is becoming more bizarre by the week. The man claims he's "building a foundation." How can you "build" anything when you continue to play 30-something veterans on defense? Why were all 4 rookie defensive players, all of whom were deemed good enough to make the roster, inactive for the game? "Building a foundation" my ass...
Why was Kevin Smith, who is the future at running back, benched in favor of (the admittedly semi-effective) Rudi Johnson? We all know Johnson, a once great back who is on the decline, is as good as gone after this season. Smith needs to get the majority of touches, or he'll just go down as another wasted draft choice.
Why is the only draft pick getting significant playing time Gosder Cherilus? It took George Foster stinking out the joint in the first half of game 2 before the Lions' coaches decided to play him.The '08 draft picks, chosen to fill very specific needs, once looked promising. Not anymore.
How can Marinelli be 35 games into his head coaching career, yet he still can't master the use of time outs and replay challenges? His complete inability to grasp the simple basics of time clock management says plenty, and it's all bad.
I'm not even going to go into
the son-in-law's Joe Barry's NFL worst defense, Jim Colletto's unimaginative offense, the complete refusal to change up anything in the schemes of the Tampa Too defense, the slow starts that have games essentially being over before halftime, the inexplicable loyalty to a QB who looks to be losing both his (average to begin with) skills and mind or the discipline Marinelli claims to demand not showing up on game days.
Instead of pounding the rock, it's time for Rod Marinelli to go pound sand.
3. Jon Kitna has spent the last 2+ seasons getting the snot beat out of him, turning the ball over, putting up big, but empty, numbers and leading the Lions into the abyss. Yards, leadership and intangibles mean jack shit when you don't win games.
The Lions have to finally break down, and see what they actually have in their young QB's. It's amazing to me that this franchise, after 3+ seasons of Dan Orlovsky being on the roster, and Drew Stanton now into his 2nd season, still don't have a clue if either of their young QB's are legitimate NFL talents. It's roster mismanagement at its most egregious.
Play Stanton, Orlovsky, even Drew Henson. At least they might, just might, bring a spark to a misfiring offense. I can live with turnovers and mistakes being made by a young QB learning the ropes, getting used to the speed of the NFL game.They are going to learn from those mistakes.
But I can't tolerate those same mistakes being made by an experienced 36 year old QB, in his 12th NFL season, who is likely to blame those mistakes on "God's will."
The time to bench Kitna is nigh.
4. It seems Bill Ford, Jr., as have we all, has seen enough. When asked by the media to comment on daddy's team, he went public with his displeasure over the direction of the Lions while at the Detroit Economic Club.
"It was an embarrassment, the fans deserve better, and if I had the authority, I would have fired the general manager,” Matt Millen, Ford said.
When asked again a few minutes later if he would fire Millen, he said, “Yes, but I don’t have that authority."
"I don't have the authority." Well...shit. So much for Junior saving the day...
Edit 5PM: The always on the ball "The World of Issac" has Junior's "FIRE MILLEN" up for all posterity on You Tube:
I've been a fan of the Detroit Lions since the 70's. I've hung with the team through very little thick and mostly thin. I'd never think of changing my fan alliances. I'm as loyal to the Lions as ever. But I'm not sure I've ever felt this damn hopeless about the situation they now find themselves.
No, I am sure.
I've NEVER been so without hope. It's fucking beyond hopeless.