Thursday, August 04, 2005

Five More Years Of Millen? GOOD!

So I see where Matt Millen just signed up for five more years. And you know what? I’m glad.

Relax, all you Millen-bashers; don’t go looking for a pigskin on which to gnaw. The Lions need this, really. You can’t be changing directions every few years. And, I hate to break this to you, but Matt is actually doing a pretty good job. It just took him a few years to feel his way in this football executive thing.

The man has drafted well, and although I’m not going to throw a bunch of factoids at you to support that claim, suffice it to say that there are quite a few starters and contributors on this club that are Millen draft picks. Free agency has seen some busts, but mostly the players Millen has brought in have been serviceable, even Pro Bowl caliber in some instances. Look at the roster right now -- it’s full of youth and speed and skill, on both sides of the ball. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Matt Millen’s roster appears to be more suited to face the rigors of this NFL season than Ken Holland’s most recent Red Wings roster was to be successful in the most recent NHL playoffs. How about them apples?

Millen’s biggest mistake -- and he made many, I know, at first -- was hiring an inexperienced man as his first head coach. Millen himself has admitted that he, basically, was clueless at first, stepping from the broadcast booth into an NFL front office. So it didn’t help matters that he hired Marty Mornhinweg, who had never been a head coach in the league. The blind-leading-the-blind approach was disastrous and set the Millen agenda back a few years. His second biggest faux pas, in my eyes, was waiting three seasons before he provided Joey Harrington with a legitimate NFL quarterback to push him and help him.

But both of those errors have been corrected, and all there is to do now is tweak things and allow Steve Mariucci to prove his value. That’s exactly the position in which a good football executive should place himself. And with Millen’s new extension, it sends the message to Mariucci and the players that the boss ain’t going anywhere anytime soon. That means stability, and that is what every successful NFL franchise has had.

Did I just insinuate that the Lions are on their way to being a successful NFL franchise? Well, all I’ll tell you is that yesterday’s news of Millen’s re-signing didn’t do a thing to harm those chances. No joke.

1 comment:

Ian C. said...

I completely agree, Greg. Frankly, I'm surprised at those who think this is a bad idea. It's easy to point at the Lions' record during Millen's tenure and snicker. But I think he's improved vastly over the past 2-3 years, in virtually every aspect of the job. Locking him up for another five years, and ensuring some organizational consistency is just what the Lions needed to do.

I guess we'll find out if we have Kool-Aid stains on our upper lips within the next couple of years...