Virtual GM: Fixing the Detroit Lions

Scott RiegerAnalyst IOctober 13, 2008

I participate in numerous Detroit Lions fan forums and message boards because I am a HUGE fan and also a glutton for punishment, as it were.  I honestly have to say that given our continual penchant for losing and utter futility, our fan base is definitely one of the best and most loyal in the NFL.  Unfortunately, aside from a few good seasons with Barry Sanders, William Clay Ford hasn't been able to make the right decisions or assemble a successful combination since purchasing the team.  Of course, he still makes a profit while the fans pay the price.  The Lions are currently in a decent situation now.  They finally ended the madness that was the Millen era and are sitting there with 2 interim GM's, and have requested the NFL's help in the search for a capable GM going forward.  Since I presume that will take some time and the Lions need some immediate attention, I've appointed myself GM and will layout my plan on how to make the Lions successful next season.  Not a 3 or 4 year plan, oh no, win now with me!

First of all, this may come as a surprise to some but I would keep Head Coach Rod Marinelli.  I know there has been speculation that we could lure Bill Cowher or Pete Carroll here but I don't think they would want the job to begin with.

The Offensive Coordinator would have to go as he is horrible.  I would hire Scott Linehan to run the offense.

Defensive Coordinator would stay simply because his philosophy is in line with the HC and he showed this week that he can gameplan effectively if the players play with some heart.  Just wait when I give him some talent.

The Dallas Cowboys are hurting right now after learning that Tony Romo will be out for 4 weeks.  They also have been struggling to find a #2 receiver to complement T.O., I would trade them Roy Williams and Dan Orlovsky for 1st and 3rd Rd. draft picks.

I would immediately insert Drew Stanton as the starter so that I can see what the kid has going into the offseason.  Drew Henson would be signed to the active roster to take Orlovsky's spot as the backup QB.

I would trade WR Shaun McDonald to SF for a 4th rounder.


In Free Agency, Albert Haynesworth would be the #1 priority as well as a veteran OT and OG.

Our needs would be as follows:









We would have the following draft picks:


1st (DAL)



3rd (DAL)

4th (SF)




Plus a compensatory pick for Woody.

In the draft, I would address the trenches first and then work from there.  Ideally, taking a franchise LT like Michael Oher would be great.  One caveat is that if Stanton didn't show too much the rest of this year, I would go ahead and grab a QB with what would likely be a top 3 pick.  Personally, I'd take either Sam Bradford or Tim Tebow.

With the second 1st rounder, I'd go with either Lauranitis, Mauluaga, or G. Selvie.

2nd round, I'd go with another OL like Duke Robinson or a DT like Terrance Taylor from Michigan.

3rd round, CB Joe Burnett, UCF

3rd round, WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech or WR Derrick Williams, Penn State

4th - 7th...I'd get a SS, OLineman, LB and a RB/WR that could be a return man.  Brandon James of Florida comes to mind.


With just a couple FA pickups and a solid draft like I've detailed above, the roster would be competitive and borderline pretty damn good after one season.


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