|ESPN.com: NFC North||[Print without images]|
We all like to look ahead in the sports media business -- mostly because by the time news actually happens, the issues leading up to it have been well-covered.
That's especially true for the saga of Matt Millen in Detroit. His failures as the Lions' president/general manager have been widely documented. The reasons are clear: He hired the wrong coaches, drafted poorly and missed on most of his free-agent signings. That pretty much sums it up, right?
Most of the Detroit-area coverage took a similar approach, exploring various versions of "What's next?" There was a monstrous volume of it Thursday morning but we tried to cull a representative sample for you.
In a guest column, recently retired Detroit News beat writer Mike O'Hara suggests ex-Tennessee general manager Floyd Reese for the job. But O'Hara's gut tells him that in the end, the Lions will make their temporary solution a permanent one: A committee system with Tom Lewand handling the business side and Martin Mayhew running the personnel department. That's sure to inspire Lions fans.
Coach Rod Marinelli has a 13-game audition for whomever the Lions hire, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com. And it's not a given that his performance will matter. Kowalski: "There are some who believe that Marinelli is a lame duck regardless and a new general manager will want to start fresh with his own head coach."
And Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom practically begs the Lions to hire a proven executive rather than think outside the box again as they did with Millen. (Does this mean you're anti-Mike Holmgren, Mitch?)
Here's how Albom put it:
"Whoever it is, please, dear Lord, do not make it a former big-name coach who wants to get his feet wet running a team. This job cannot be a proving ground. It cannot be a place where you make your first mistakes. Unless the Fords hire someone with a track record of excellence, in more than one franchise, they surely will screw up the decision. As it is, they won't make it until the end of the year, rendering this season nothing more than Sunday after Sunday of exhibition football."
There are three other teams in the NFC North, of course, and here's what's going on in their worlds: