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How I Would Fix the Detroit Lions

Lions Fans Incognito

With the season now over and the Detroit Lions having turned in the worst season in NFL history, here are a few steps I would implement in attempting to turn around this downtrodden franchise.

1) I would first bring in general managers who know talent—both of the past and present. I wouldn’t hire immediately, but I would bring them in to evaluate my team. I’d like to know what some of the football minds around the league really think of my squad. Evaluate my players, coaching staff, and gameday strategy. Give me your honest opinion—it would allow this team to not live in the bubble of ineptitude that it has gotten far too familiar with.

2) The second thing I would do would be to reach out to Lions alumni. Get Lem Barney on the phone. Ask Herman Moore to come and talk to the team. And make sure that Barry Sanders gets some sort of advisor role with the team. I would connect the present to the past for both the players and the fans.

3) The third thing I would do is lower ticket prices. In the economically ravaged streets of Detroit, times are tough. Times are even worse when your team has never been to the Superbowl and has been putrid since Michael Jackson sang “Thriller.” I would display some good faith, and lower ticket prices a bit to appease my loyal fan base.

4) The fourth thing I would do is hire competent people. This sounds obvious, but Matt Millen was the GM in Detroit for almost a decade. He had no experience whatsoever for the position, and his team was dreadful year after year. Yet he always kept his job. I would certainly allow my hires to fail because you cannot succeed if you don’t, to some extent, crash and burn. But I wouldn’t tolerate poor play or inexcusable team management. The Ford family enabled Matt Millen—I wouldn’t stand for it.

5) The last thing I would attempt to do is change the losing culture. Losing really and truly is a disease. Ask the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, or Houston Texans. When a losing culture infects your franchise, you find ways to lose. You snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I would do my best to surround my team with winners. Not coaches who talk a good game, but ones who have actually won consistently at the pro level. I would rid my team of lazy, apathetic players and replace them with savvy veterans and young players willing to make an impact (similar to how the Patriots built their franchise). I would constantly reiterate to my team that if the horrendous 1998 Rams can go from the toilet bowl to the Superbowl—and the 1-15 Dolphins of 2007 can go from laughing stock division champs, then there’s no reason that the Lions cannot regain their once mighty roar.

What would be some things you would do to turn around the Detroit Lions? I want to hear from you Sportsfly.com readers!

January 1, 2009 - Posted by | NFL | , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Good insight. How do you feel about hiring within the family? That may have led to losses too. Some of the coaching staff and management were hired cuz they were close kin…How qualified were they really?

    Comment by flyskrybe | January 2, 2009 | Reply

  2. I think you’re right. There was blind loyalty in Detroit which was a huge problem, too. Marinelli had his son in law as defensive coordinator, and the owner Ford was immensely loyal to Matt Millen.

    I think the Lions need to learn how to do what Pat Bowen of the Broncos has done–cut bait when it’s time to cut bait. Bowen worked with Shanahan for over 20 years, but when you’re not cutting it, you just ain’t cutting it.

    Comment by PacMan3000 | January 2, 2009 | Reply


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