We've beat the GM/Coach discussion into the ground already, but I couldn't help but stir the pot one more time. If any of you have read some of my past posts, you know that I would love to see Scott Pioli become the new GM of the Lions. There are many reasons to like this move, but I have one intriguing one that I haven't really heard being discussed - I'll get to that in a minute. The obvious reason to like Pioli is his track record with New England. He helped turn that bonfide turkey into the team of the decade. They will be remembered in the same breath as the Packers, Steelers, 49ers and Cowboys of past decades. But even beyond that, rumor has it that Pioli desperately wants to get out of the shadow of Belichick and show that he can turn a franchise around without a Hall of Fame coach. That's incentive! That's why the Lions should go get him as soon as the Playoffs begin. Sure, do your due diligence with all the other good candidates, but if he accepts, take him.
As I aluded to a minute ago, there is a much better reason for hiring Pioli aside from all of the great stuff above. It's the 3-in-1 Patriotic combo. It's the likely domino effect in the hiring chain should we bring Mr. Pioli into the Motown mix. Who is he likely to bring in as Head Coach? Let's see... who on his staff is a bright, young talent with the offensive mind of Martz, but the sanity and intellect of Belichick? Yep, Josh McDaniels. He's the 32 year old offensive phenom that's calling great game after great game and putting up tons of yardage without Brady and an aging, injury-plagued defense that's giving up yards by the truckload. Maybe you recall that I wrote about McDaniels a few weeks ago as an underdog-type hire. Well, if Pioli is in, I think that McDaniels would be his first choice and I, for one, would be excited about that hire. He would be a pure coach. He could leave the GM stuff to the GM and concentrate on conjuring up some great gameplans for the Lions. We'd have to get him a good Def. Coordinator, but I'm sure Pioli could find a Belichick disciple out there to bring in.
Okay, so that's two. Who's the trifecta in the 3-for-1 deal? Matt Cassel. He'll be a free agent next year and you don't think he'd jump at the chance to follow Pioli and McDaniels to Detroit? Bing, Bam, Boom... three of the most important roles on the team, filled with one hire. C'mon, doesn't this make total sense? The verdict is still out on Cassel a little, I guess. He's been sporadic at times, but he's also thrown like three or four 400yd games. For a first year starter, he's been pretty good. I know, I know... he's on a team that went 16-0 last year. Doesn't matter. You still have to perform. I think he would be worth taking a chance on. Detroit could then use the first overall pick on another position or in the best, but most unlikely scenario, they could trade down and really get a draft day haul.
There can't be too many people out there that would think this isn't the best scenario going for the Lions. They would get some credibility back overnight. I'd be excited. The only other scenario I've heard that would be comparable is the Schottenheimer/Cowher experiment. In case you haven't heard this one... Schottenheimer, talking on a Sirius radio show, said that he would love to come back in a GM role with Cowher as his coach. The talk was in the context of the possible Browns openings, not the Lions, but they'd certainly be in the mix too. I'm sure that this happening with either team is unlikely, but stranger things have happened. Cowher and Schottenheimer have an excellent relationship and if Ol' Marty was hired, he might just be able to coax Cowher out of retirement. The big question here is how well Marty would do in a full-on GM role. Aside from his playoff curse, every team Schottenheimer has touched as turned to gold or at least a bright shade of bronze. I've said before that I wouldn't mind Marty as the Head Coach. He's hokey, no doubt, but he's a players coach and the dude knows football, straight up.
All in all, this speculation is just amusing filler to pass the time over the course of our next three losses and to help get us through the big 0-16 tsunami. Let me know what you guys think of this idea as I haven't heard it floated around much. It's certainly intriguing.