0-16. Wow. Congratulations Detroit Lions on being the worst team in the history of the NFL. Yes, you lost more games in one season then anyone else. Yes, many college teams could beat you. Yes, you can be fixed. They just need what every football team needs: leadership and talent.
Let’s start with leadership. I don’t think Rod Marinelli is to blame here (see the next paragraph of thisarticle for that reason.) In fact, I think Marinelli has is a pretty bright guy and a good coach. The real problem with the Lions in leadership was their team management. In my opinion, the Lions are 1-16 because they won one game. That game was against former Lions CEO/President, Matt Millen, who was fired mid-season. A tip to the next Lions CEO/President: listen to your staff. Even in the business side of sports franchises, it’s a team effort. Don’t go on some ego trip like Millen did and do whatever the hell you want (of course, I’m making dramatic assumptions.) Class is a trait that is inherited. If your owner is respectful and classy, the CEO will be, if the CEO is then the GM will be, if the GM is then the coaches will be, if they the coaches are then the players will be, if the players are then the fans will be. If their is a bad egg somewhere in this chain it can be poison to a team (also see: the Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, Terrell Owens.) First the Lions need leadership in the office, then they need some leadership on the field. Which brings me to my second need to fix the Lions: talent.
Simply put, the Lions have not built a talented team. It shouldn’t be that hard, considering they have top-15 draft picks year in and year out. In 2008, not surprisingly, the Lions rank neer the bottom in just about every statistical category. Well, the Lions have two first round draft picks this year and many more in the rest of the draft. So first: clean house. Get rid of those guys that aren’t pulling their weight that are already on the team. Now, I’m not in the locker room but two guys I am not big on are QB Dan Orlovsky and center Dominic Raiola. Orlovsky, bless his heart for trying, but he is a caretaker quarterback built for a team that has a great defense and can run the ball. Sit him or replace him. As for Raiola, this guy is poison. First he flicked of the fans for booing him. Then after the team went 0-16 he said to ESPN, “I’ve got to live with this. I have been here eight years and this is on my resume.” BOO HOO RAIOLA. YOU AREN’T THE ONLY ONE THAT HAS TO “LIVE” WITH THIS. QUIT ACTING LIKE A VICTIM. Next step is keep all the talented guys on the team, because the Lions do have some talent. Rookie running back Kevin Smith, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, and linebacker Ernie Sims are all players that the Lions need to lock up. Next, start building your team through the draft, not free agency or trades. Use that number one overall pick on a
quarterback (NOT A WIDE RECEIVER!), Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford looks like that guy so far. Trade that later first round pick that you got from the Cowboys for as many picks as you can get. And then pick safe bets. Players with high talent, high class, and high experience guys. STOP TAKING RISKS, THEY NEVER WORK FOR YOU, DETROIT. Pick offensive lineman, defensive lineman, linebackers, and another quarterback in the late rounds to keep that first rounder looking over his shoulder. You won’t win a Super Bowl in 2009, but you can start building a strong foundation for the future.
Yes, this season was shitty. But, there is a silver lining. At least you will be in the Hall of Fame. And there is no where to go but up… right?