O.K., here is the big trivia question of the week: Identify the speaker of the following weekly moronic quotes during the 2008 NFL season:
“I’m going to work hard”
“We’re going to coach them up”
“We’re going to review the film”
“These are good men”
“Look, you don’t know what goes on behind the scenes”
“This is a good group of men. It’s my job to get them ready”, and, finally,
“It’s on me. It’s on me”
Yes, these little gems, and many others along the same lines, have been spoken each week during the Detroit Lions current 0-12 2008 season by the great Rod Marinelli! All of the aforementioned gems would be excellent quotes IF the team improved and IF a victory occasionally occurred! However, the gems have become as meaningless as a 3-dollar bill, as they have had ZERO impact with the “men” on Rod’s football team.
Rod Marinelli, the former excellent defensive line coach with Tampa Bay, seems to be a decent human being. In fact, if my sons grow up to have the work ethic and integrity of Rod, I will be most grateful. Additionally, Marinelli seems to have a great wealth of football knowledge. HOWEVER, for a variety of reasons, some of his doing and some of which he has been a victim, ol’ Rod has miserably failed as a head coach in Detroit. With the 47-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans during the Thanksgiving embarrassment on the national stage, which followed other embarrassments including the first-ever non sellouts at Ford Field, the time has come for Rod to pack his bags and head home.
The 2008 Thanksgiving Day embarrassment included the following statistics:
1) Only 6 Lions’ first downs DURING THE WHOLE GAME!!
2) Only 154 TOTAL YARDS!!
3) After a Lions’ timeout, they were flagged for not getting the next play off in time!!
4) The most severe issue of all – too many players not hustling and simply going through the motions to avoid getting hurt, while making sure that no contact was made. Note the following:
** Dwight Smith not attacking RB Chris Johnson or attempting to cut off his route. Instead Smith merely turned and weakly chased after Johnson – who then easily scored on a 58-yeard touchdown run!!
** Daniel Bullocks throwing out his arm to tackle several players – allowing his arm to make contact with running backs and then meekly falling down which allowed the runners to continue on their routes to the end zone!!
** Gosder Cherilus watching as plays developed, almost like a fan with a great seat, instead of knocking opponents on their backsides or driving them into yesterday!!
** Even Cory Redding, one of their better players, refusing to put QB Kerry Collins into the hospital or even send him running for a Band-Aid as Collins chased Avril after Avril picked up a fumble and scampered toward the end zone. Redding did not even touch Collins. QB Collins caught up to Avril and tackled him near the 2-year line. Had Redding taken care of business, Avril would have easily scored!!
Fortunately, the Lions do have a few players who played on Thanksgiving Day as though they still gave a rat’s elbow, including Ernie Sims, Daunte Culpepper, Kevin Smith, Travis Fisher (although he gave less than full effort on some plays, too), Jason Hanson, Nick Harris (although he blew one punt!), Paris Lenon, Aveion Cason, Calvin Johnson, Cliff Avril, and a few others. However, when even one NFL player believes that he can intentionally whiff and wheeze on multiple plays, it’s a sign that the coach has lost the respect of the “men” in the locker room.
Rod, you’re a fine man and a terrific football coach. You will probably get another job in the NFL fairly quickly as a defensive line coach or maybe even as a defensive coordinator. As you have stood tall with dignity in the continuing face of adversity during your time in Detroit, I wish that you would have experienced success, not only because you deserve it, but so that you could serve as a role model to the kids of the Detroit area with the motto of Integrity and Hard Work Will Always Result in Success!
Changing head coaches after the 12thgame will not do much good for the Lions. But, the Matt Millen era is over, the problems that he created have to be put to rest, and a new direction is sorely needed. Additionally, as there is no way for Marinelli to be the head coach in 2009, it is best to get his voice out of the way as soon as possible, so that the players have something, ANYTHING, else to ring in their heads during the remaining four games.
Although he would get substantial points in the integrity department, I do not want Rod Marinelli to quit, as he would lose out on a hefty bundle of cash. However, as many players are simply going through the motions even on national television, as many players have ceased to believe in Rod, as the local media folks have given up on him, as the fans have produced non-sellouts this season, as the stands were nearly empty for the 4th quarter of the Thanksgiving Day game, and as the 1-18 record over the past 19 games cannot be justified (even coaches with the worst possible players find ways to win!), it is time to make the change that is inevitable anyway.
Mr. Ford and Mr. Mayhew: Please put Rod Marinelli out of his misery, show him respect, pay him his money, allow him to work elsewhere, and wish him well.
Rod: Thank you for your hard work, integrity, work ethic, and professionalism throughout all of this nonsense that Matt Millen and others created for you. You were a good man when you arrived, you’ve been a good man during your tenure in Detroit, and you’ll be a good man (maybe even a better man) when you leave the Lions. Good luck and thank you!