So, I think most people are onboard with the front office's performace regarding player acquisition and development, but some of us (myself included at times) seem to think we know better. So just to illustrate the point that we ARE headed in the right direction, I offer this flashback:
(To be fair, I specifically see JCruize and Jazzy (along with myself) flat out rejecting the idea)
Some had said we should trade down for him. I think by now we realize that staying pat was a good idea.
Sure, we could have traded our 2nd round pick, but once again, Mayhew and Co. served us up a dish of genius.
The Gaither situation is just one of many times we fans have (rightfully so, given the past) believed that we knew better. That we had a better direction for this team. Time and time again since taking this team over, "Millen's Lackey" Martin Mayhew has completely turned this team around. Not that we're where we need to be, but the 180 degree turn has been executed.
Some stats for you:
Since 2008 (Millen's last year and our 0-16 season):
We have retained 24.5%, or 13 of the players on our 2008 final 53 man roster - 48% of whom were rookies in that fateful year - Drew Stanton, Jerome Felton, Kevin Smith, Calvin Johnson, Jeff Backus, Gosder Cherilus, Stephen Peterman, Dominic Raiola, Cliff Avril, Andre Fluellen, Jason Hanson, Nick Harris, and Don Muhlbach. (Italics denote rookie in 2008)
Our LB and DB corps have been COMPLETELY overhauled. One LB from '08 survived - Jordon Dizon (rookie in '08). Cliff Avril and Andre Fluellen, both rookies in 2008, are the only two DL players remaining. Every reciever aside from Megatron is gone, and we have replaced our TE situation (in 2008 with Fitzsimmons, Michael Gaines, and John Owens) to a veritable stable of high performers.
We have earned nearly 50% of the first downs we had all season in 6 games. (234 in '08, 112 in '10)
Our 3rd down conversion percentage has increased from 29% in '08 to 42% in '10.
Our TO differential was -9 in '08, we're at +1 to date.
We are on pace to exceed 2008's offensive production by over 1000 yards and 13 TD's.
Defensively, we are set to have 42 sacks (12 more than '08) and 18 INT's (14 more than '08).
My (admittedly long-winded) point is this: all you naysayers can move the fuck off the bandwagon, cuz there are going to be plenty of newcomers very soon. If you can't see the LEAPS that this team has made towards building the foundation of a legitimate contender, you're blind, jaded, stupid, or a combination of all three. Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz have turned this team around in two years, and now aim to walk it down the path to glory. Keep in mind the statistics given offensively are with a BACKUP QB, who has performed better than any of our previous starters in his first year in Detroit. We have an extremely young team, who are only going to gel and get better with time, and if this is the beginning, I'm in for the ride.
I think it's high time to give credit where credit is due, thank Mr. Mayhew for his contributions and put the Kool-Aid down - no longer are we being coerced into believing change will occur, we're seeing it before our very eyes.