Who's Willing To Right The Detroit Lions Ship?

Demetrus StokesAnalyst IDecember 30, 2008

This time of year, there is familiar stench in the air in the city of Detroit—the stench of yet another losing season by the Detroit Lions.

This year, though, the stench is different.  It's unfamiliar.

It's the stench of not only another disappointing season, but of being the worst team in NFL history.

As a Lions fan, I don't take pride in the fact that they made history this year...not this kind of history.

0-16 is not something that I wanted.  This is why I sat in front of my TV like a fool this past Sunday in hopes of an upset win over Green Bay.

Those hopes were dashed.

History has been made. 

Two days have passed since Detroit's historical day, and it still hasn't hit me that the Lions didn't win one game.  Not one! 

To top things off, our "great" owner, William Clay Ford, Sr., announced the promotion of executives Tom Lewand and Martin Mayhew to president and general manager.  These are men who were here during the entire Matt Millen Era.

Ummm....could someone lend me a clue, because Mr. Ford needs one! 

When your team goes 0-16, the general consensus is that you clean house. 

You fired Matt Millen midseason, Rod Marinelli is gone, but yet you keep two guys who were around the entire time?  Why?  Because Lewand has held your jock forever?  Because Mayhew has promise?

The Detroit Lions don't need promise right now, they need an experienced winner.  That goes for the front office and the new head coach.

Reports say the Lions are going to hire one more front office executive.  If Bill Parcells leaves Miami, Ford should do everything in his power to get him to Detroit.  If you can't get Parcells, get someone with a proven track record.  Scott Peoli would be nice, but all signs point to him going to Cleveland

Since the front office looks to be set, who's next in line to be head coach?  Let's examine some guys who I think are qualified for be the next head coach of the Titanic...urrr, Detroit Lions. 


Bill Cowher

Former Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach/Current CBS TV Analyst

This is wishful thinking, but a brother can dream, can't he?  He doesn't want the Cleveland Browns job, and the Browns have some talent.  He turned down the NY Jets job.  Why?  Because he wants complete control of his next team.  This eliminates the Lions. 


Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys Offensive Coordinator 

Garrett was a hot candidate last season due to the Cowboys having so much success on offense.  Not so much this year.  In fact, offensive players are pointing the blame at Garrett for the Cowboys' offensive woes this season. 

Still, he's considered a future head coach in the NFL, and the Lions have reportedly been granted permission to speak with him.  He already makes $3 million as a coordinator, so what would his asking price be as a head coach?  Would he take a pay cut for the opportunity?


Josh McDaniels

New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator

In 2007, the Patriots scored 67 offensive touchdowns and broke the NFL record by scoring 589 points.  In 2008, league MVP Tom Brady goes down for the season in the first game, and you think all is lost for the Pats.  Insert Matt Cassel, your only backup and a seventh round draft pick.  The offense still proved to be high-powered, helping the Pats to win 11 games.  McDaniels certainly deserves an interview and should be close to the top of the Lions' wish list.  The question is, will the Patriots give the Lions permission to speak with him? 


Brian Billick

Former Baltimore Ravens Head Coach/Current FOX TV Color Commentator

Brian Billick is known for having a great offensive mind, yet none of his teams in Baltimore blew you away offensively.  The defense was the strength.  Doesn't take away from the fact that he is a great coach with a Super Bowl Championship.  He fits the "experienced winner" criteria stated above. 


Leslie Frazier

Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator 

I don't necessarily think the Lions need to pick a so-called defensive-minded coach, just a coach with a mind.  If the Lions are looking to go that route, Frazier is a good candidate.  The Vikings had the sixth-best total defense in the NFL this year and the league's best against the run.  The Lions need a little of that mojo.  If hired, hopefully Frazier will bring some of it with him.  He also won a Super Bowl ring as an assistant with the Colts


Steve Spagnuolo

New York Giants Defensive Coordinator

He's this year's prom queen—the one everyone wants to take out.  I'm pretty sure that every team that has a coaching vacancy has this guy on their list.  Why shouldn't they? He's the defensive coordinator for the defending Super Bowl champs.  He figured out how to stop the virtually unstoppable Tom Brady in last year's Super Bowl.  He was handed many injuries this season, but still the Giants' defense was better than anything the Lions have put on the field ever...or at least in recent memory. 


Some Other Candidates to Consider:

Jim Schwartz-Tennessee Titans Defensive Coordinator

Eric Mangini-Former NY Jets Head Coach

The fact is the Lions need someone to come in with a winning attitude.  The front office needs to bring in some talented players, because I can count on one hand the number of talented players the Lions currently have.  They can start with the NFL Draft, where the Lions have five picks in the first three rounds.  All of those picks should be starters when next season starts. 

Is there hope for my lowly Lions?  The team has reached rock bottom.  It's gets no worse than 0-16.  Things are looking up, right?  With Ford Sr. still in charge things may never look up.  Let's have some hope that a new coach and some talented players will overshadow the incompetence of our owner. 




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