We've seen Matt Millen canned, thank god. A new coaching staff is at the helm; a better (MUCH better) coaching staff.
There's been some dramatic changes this offseason for Lions fans besides those listed above. We've left the old era of the Lions in the dust in nearly every way possible, besides relocating to Mexico.
New coaches, GM, uniforms, logo, and nearly an entirely new roster.
Hopefully the team's playing will change as well. I'll breakdown each area, and show just how much this team has changed, and improved over this past offseason.
Some may think that the fact that the Detroit Lions have started a new era has been beaten to death, but here we go.
Coaching/ Administrative Staff
General Manager: Matt Millen—Martin Meyhew
Head Coach: Rod Marinelli—Jim Schwartz
Offensive Coordinator: Jim Colletto—Scott Linehan
Defensive Coordinator: Joe Barry—Gunther Cunningham
In addition to the three main coaches, there were also several changes made throughout the individual position coaching staff. Our coaching staff is new, better, and looks very promising.
Not just from a Lions fan point of view...plenty of people notice the major changes going on in Detroit, starting with the staff.
Word is we also got a new ball boy; now that's thorough.
Uniforms & Logo
A lot of people think it's a rather minor change, and in truth, it is. But it's been modernized. The "powder blue" on the old uniforms have been replaced by a darker "Hawaiian blue." The text of "Detroit Lions" has been improved from a classic look, to a fiercer, cooler look.
Not to mention the logo, which received added detail as can be seen here, along with the uniforms and such merchandise.
This is really, really cool if you're a Lions fan, and simply more proof of leaving the old Lions in the dust. More proof that a new, better era has begun.
Perhaps the most noticeable, and most influential change, is the team itself. 31 of the 53 man roster were not part of the "perfect" season achieved by Detroit last year.
This includes Stafford and other promising rookies, including Aaron Brown and Louis Delmas. Kalvin Pearson is the only one of the 10-man secondary that was part of the 2008 season with Detroit.
Only 13 players were drafted by Millen, 10 in the last two years.
Stafford won a great battle at Quarterback against Culpepper, and hopefully will prove to be a good decision against New Orleans come Sunday.
Schwartz hasn't mentioned anything about last year to the team, nor has Meyhew. He's focused on moving forward, making progress, and is determined to take the Lions to the playoffs in years to come.
"No offense to them," Schwartz said. "Everyone here worked very hard. But part of what our whole gameplan was...to make sure we changed enough. We didn't just rest on what happened last year. We went forward and said 'Who can help us best in the future?'"
The work ethic, discipline, and aggressiveness of the team is overwhelming. It's incredible the changes that they've gone through. I'm not saying they're going to get a playoff berth this year, but in the next 2-3 years, I see them being a contender.