Detroit Lions Keep Matt Millen & Marty Mornhinweg Another Year

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert_eb, Dec 31, 2002.

  1. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

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    A bit of an suprise to most in this area.
    http://detroitlions.com/news/index.c...ook_module.cfm
    As year 2002 drew near to a close Tuesday, it was a chance to look forward to 2003 and new beginnings.
    The Detroit Lions also looked forward to the new start, and they will hopefully see happy returns as well. That is because team President and CEO Matt Millen ended speculation regarding both his and Marty Mornhinweg's future in Detroit.
    Millen said he will remain with the team and Mornhinweg, who has compiled a 5-27 record in two seasons as the Lions head coach, will return as well.
    "After speaking with Mr. Ford the last few days, we will make no changes," Millen said during a press conference Tuesday. "I will be here and Marty Mornhinweg will be here and we will continue to work toward what we have been doing."
    Millen made the decision after speaking with team owner and chairman William Clay Ford over the two days since the Lions 38-36 loss to Minnesota in the season finale. Ford told reporters prior to the game against Tampa Bay on December 15 that he would evaluate both Millen and Mornhinweg following the season.
    "I know it looked ugly," Millen said. "I know the results aren't what we wanted. I understand all of those things. I know there have been only five wins in two years and that is ugly—it is worse than that. There are a lot of reasons for that. Some of them are controllable and some of them are not controllable. But I think we fight it and move forward. Of course, you have to get some players and do things better."
    Despite ending the season with an eight-game losing skid, Millen defended Mornhinweg and affirmed his belief that Mornhinweg is the man to do the job.
    "Marty has done some good things," Millen said. "Marty has been positive and this team has not quit. They have always kept on from the beginning and fought through everything. A couple of things have gone against him—obvious things like injuries and attrition for variety of reasons. But I also believe that he has been working with a new lineup. We have to be careful with that because it sounds like excuses and I hate excuses.
    "But he is still a bright guy and we move forward with him."
    The next objective on the Lions agenda is to begin preparations for the 2003 NFL Draft. The team currently holds the No. 2-overall pick in the annual April draft, work begins later this month with the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
    Mornhinweg and his staff will coach the annual bowl game featuring some of the nation's top collegiate senior who are elgible for the draft. The Lions were selected to coach the team thanks to a change by the NFL. Previously, the two teams in each conference with the best records who did not make the playoffs were invited to coach the squads. This season, the invitations went to the teams with the fewest victories.
    Millen said having the Lions coaches work at the Senior Bowl is a plus.
    "It will be a big advantage for us," Millen said.
    One of Millen's immediate tasks is to replace fill the vacant Director of Player Personnel position. The Lions terminated Bill Tobin, who held the position the last two years, last Friday.
    "We want to get that taken care of as quickly as possible," Millen said.
     
  2. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

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    I'm not all that surprised. Buying out Millen would cost a lot. Besides, the Lions are guaranteed sell-outs for several more years, even with a worse team on the field.
     
  3. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

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    Unfortunately Jason is right. Ford is a businessman first and foremost. I don't believe the idea of having Moeller, Millen and Morningwheg all on the payroll in addition to having to dole out big bucks for a new coach and/or GM was very appealing to Ford.

    As long as 60,000+ people are willing to blow their $$$ buying tickets to see an inferior product the Ford family only has to continue with the status quo. My wife and I dumped our season tickets after another dismal season under Wayne Fontes. We have yet to see a reason to jump back on the bandwagon.

    Just imagine for a few moments how wild the celebration would be if the Lions won a Super Bowl. It would make the Hockeytown celebrations seem small!
     
  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I would have been suprised if Ford actually had made an intelligent move and went after Parcells or Dennis Green -- i.e. real football men. William Clay Ford, Sr. has been running this franchise sine 1964, and has yet to make a good decision in selecting management personnel. Why should he get it right now?
    As I've said many times before, the Lions will continue to be mediocre as long as Ford owns this team. Today's Detroit News had a poll asking who was the best coach in recent Lions' history -- Morninhweg, Bobby Ross, Gary Moeller, Wayne Fontes or Darryl Rogers. That's like asking who was a nicer guy -- Hitler, Moussolini or Stalin? [​IMG]
    Meanwhile, Parcells has agreed to a contract with Dallas. So, while the Lions continue on in their mediocrity, the Cowboys make a positive move to improve their team.
     
  5. Dave_Brown

    Dave_Brown Supporting Actor

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  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Dave,

    Dennis Green was openingly campaigning for the Detroit job, even though it was not available. Parcells even showed some interest (although it's certainly possible that was a negotiating ploy with Dallas).

    Detroit offers one very attractive option for coaches -- an owner who is patient with coaches and GM's to a fault. While some owners will fire a coach very quickly (before they've had a legitimate chance to build a team), Ford has been notorious for hanging onto people long after other organizations would have given the person the axe. Heck, Russ Thomas was one of the worst GM's in sports during his tenure, yet Ford hung onto him for many, many years. Same with Wayne Fontes.

    There's a reason Ford owns this team -- the family bought him a toy to keep him away from the real family business, aka Ford Motor Company. Ever wonder why William Clay Ford, Jr. (the owner's son) is the first Ford to be running things at Ford Motor in many years? It because nobody in their right mind would let William, Sr. run a gas station, let alone a major automotive company.
     
  7. Brandon_T

    Brandon_T Screenwriter

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  8. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    How on Earth do they have a sell-out each week for the next few years??? Are tickets like 10 cents? [​IMG]
    Seriously though, how do they sell-out? Here in Oakland, the Raiders have had their best year to date since coming back to Oakland with only 1 or 2 'blackouts'.
     
  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Mike,

    It's because of a brand new stadium that just opened up in 2002.
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  11. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

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    I think Spartan Stadium holds about 78,000.

    Also, even if the Lions suck forever, people will hang onto their season tickets because they will always be able to sell them off to people that have yet to see Ford Field. Just look at the Motor City bowl last week. Do you think 50,000 people really showed up to watch BC and Toledo?

    I have season tickets and will likely sell off half my games next year, unless they somehow get good - which could happend given the ridiculous amount of parity in the NFL right now.
     
  12. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

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    Scott hit the nail on the head. Football is KING in SE Michigan, hockey finishes a distant second. As soon as the Wings have a few sub .500 seasons hockey tickets will become plentiful. But as long as the Lions are playing people will pay to go to the games.
     

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