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Monday, December 29, 2008
Continuity after 0-16?!

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

We're already getting a pretty good glimpse at Detroit's plans for 2009 and beyond on Day 1 of the offseason. If you're a Lions fan hoping for a complete overhaul following an 0-16 season, you're going to be deeply disappointed.

Although they fired coach Rod Marinelli, the Lions announced the departures of only four assistant coaches. By my count, that means 14 of Marinelli's assistants at least temporarily have jobs. That includes offensive coordinator Jim Colletto, who was re-assigned to offensive line coach, and special teams coordinator Stan Kwan. Two of the fired assistant coaches are directly related to Marinelli: Defensive coordinator Joe Barry, who is Marinelli's son-in-law, and assistant offensive line coach Mike Barry, who is Joe Barry's father.

Owner William Clay Ford also followed through with plans to retain chief operating officer Tom Lewand and interim general manager Martin Mayhew. Lewand was promoted to team president, while Mayhew was given the permanent general manager title. So while Ford said last week that he will add a front-office executive, you have to assume that person's role will be subordinate to Mayhew and thus only marginally impactful. (The firing of Dave Boller, assistant director of pro personnel, provides a clue as to the type of hire the Lions are looking to make.)

A few points can be safely extrapolated from these moves in advance of a late-morning news conference in Detroit: