Well to truly know that we will have to look at the suspects. In my mind, the main suspects are the players, they just are not good enough, but whose fault is that?
Is it Head Coach Rod Marinelli fault? Is it former GM Matt Millen’s fault? Or does the blame lay with the owner, William Clay Ford?
In all seriousness, Ford may be the worst owner in the NFL. When we consider that this league has Al Davis, and Jerry Jones as owners that is really saying something, but the case can be made that in 40-plus years of ownership Ford’s Lions have only won one playoff game.
On top of that he has kept guys who were terrible in key positions for far too long. Millen’s record after three seasons was 10-38, going 2-14 in 2002, 3-13 in 2003, and 5-11 in 2004.
That was not enough improvement in three seasons and should have led to Millen’s firing then.
Instead, he was allowed to stay for more than four more seasons. Over those four years, he made so many mistakes that we are left with what amounts to an expansion franchise. This team is so devoid of talent that it is a real embarrassment.
In his tenure as GM, Millen hired three head coaches, and fired four. Not one of those decisions improved this club on any level. He was also allowed to waste at least two, if not three first round draft picks.
Charlie Rogers and Mike Williams were both taken with high first round picks and no longer play in the NFL. Roy Williams was taken with a high draft pick but that loss, is lessened by getting a first round pick in return for him.
Clearly, Millen deserves a Lion's share of the blame, but it was Ford who let him run this franchise into the ground.
As for Head Coach Marinelli, a guy who was not even a coordinator in this league before being hired, did any of us really expect anything more? This is the guru of the Tampa Two defense, a defense that has been outdated for at least two seasons.
On top of that he hired his son-in-law, Joe Barry, to be his defense coordinator. When Barry was hired, the Lions defense was the 28th worst defense in this league, now it is the 31st worst defense.
In the end, Millen is to blame, but Ford has been asleep at the wheel and he truly deserves the stigma of his team going 0-16.