Wednesday, September 18, 2013
If I owned the Detroit Lions....
I have no faith in this team and coaching staff as I do right now I would be ready to make changes. I know it seems a little early for that but I have no faith Jim Schwartz is the Head Coach to get my team to the next level and while i could be in danger of selling this season short I would be looking to make moves sooner rather than later. However that would not be the first move I would make.
I would fire Martin Mayhew as General Manger just because I have little to no faith in him. I would offer that job to Brian Xanders first, and if he declined I would like to keep him in his current role and possible get him to lead the search for the next GM. I would then fire Jim Schwartz and Scott Linehan, make Gunther Cunningham the interim head coach and again turn to Xanders and whomever he finds to be the GM to lead the search for the next head coach.
I would talk to John Gruden, Herman Edwards, and Tony Dungy to start and lead an exhaustive efforts of guys with NFL experience and maybe well thought of coordinators. However, it seems to me that the Lions have gone with a guy with zero head coaching experience at this level far too often and that the current ownership likes to have a somewhat weak coach in place. There seems to be an attitude amongst the front office staff and ownership that they are smarter than everyone else and frankly these are the architects of the only NFL team to go 0-16 and simply put they know nothing about NFL football.
Personnel wise. I would generously grant Mikel Leshoure his wish for a trade and look to deal him for whatever i could get in return preferably late round draft pick. I would then direct my head of pro scouting to find me a capable free agent WR to help fill a huge need on this team. I want a guy for the Titus Young role not a trouble maker but another threat for my new OC to help further stretch defense. If Ryan Broyles is that guy he gets put on the first team offense tomorrow and we run with it. Brandon Pettigrew is out. I am over him and his inability to consistently catch the ball. This is one of the reasons Mayhew deserves to be fired and I am over giving him playing time over other people on this roster. If a free agent is needed here I go find one if not I get Joseph Fauria in the game for seasoning. Again this is the nuclear option where we right off 2013 and try and get the franchise into shape for 2014.
As far as David Akers I am concerned and I would give him a very short leash and bet that I would have my staff working out kicker each and every Monday to let Mr. Akers know I am not going to put up with failure on any level. Special Team are an important part of the NFL game and Schwartz and his staff seem unwilling to understand that. I still have concerns in the return game but the issues at kicker are far more troubling.
Those are the big changes I would make day one of being the owner. We could play this game a little different as say this is what I would do on day one of being hired to be the GM of this team, and the only thing that would change was insuring Xanders is comfortable and happy and here long term.
As you can see I give a lot of the credit for what the Lions have done in free agency to Xanders and most of the blame for the missteps in the draft on Mayhew. that has to change. This team need to do a better job in the draft especially in the mid to late rounds finding gems that can come in and make meaningfully albeit small contribution to the Lions winning. I would also like to see the Lions draft some guys and develop them into something, not just give playing time to guys who were mistakenly drafted in the first round.
All the Schwartz/Mayhew era has done for this team is traded a culture of losing to a culture of self entitled behavior where no meaningful consequences are ever handed sown no matter how egregious the errors on the field. that has got to change.