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|Kirby Lee/US Presswire|
|Matt Millen would be out as GM if Bill Ford Jr. was in charge.|
It didn't take long for things to get ugly in Detroit. Monday's brutal public comments from vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. -- who said he would have fired president/general manager Matt Millen on Monday if he had the authority -- opens up a can of worms no one thought would be exposed this early in the season.
Ford Jr.'s father, William Clay Ford, runs the team and has been intensely loyal to Millen through seven losing seasons. The younger Ford, however, has made several strong comments this year about his expectations for the team -- making clear he believes Millen and coach Rod Marinelli have been given everything they asked for to build a winner.
We can only assume the elder Ford has no immediate plans make changes at the top during this bye week, but at the very least things have gotten awkward at Lions headquarters. If Millen didn't know before, he does now: The team's second-highest ranked official wants him ousted.
Worse, Ford Jr. has submarined his own father. It could be by design, or it could simply be an unintended slip borne of years of frustration. Regardless of intent, Ford Jr. has publicly sided with the legions of fans who have campaigned against Millen for years. His comment not only increased the public pressure on his father but also exposes a new level of dysfunction for a beleaguered franchise.