I was pretty angry yesterday when I posted all of that negative stuff and commented on a lot of topics involving the Detroit Lions. Admittedly, after reading Drew's Lions article and EvilSmurf's piece on this franchise, I decided to take the more positive approach as well to help life the spirits of this team's fanbase. Despite the history of ineptness and repeated mistakes, I see a difference in this team's brass and the way they conduct business than the previous 50 years. Jim Schwartz isn't incompetent either, despite still learning on the job, he's capable of being a good coach once he get's all of the pieces and rids the team of it's losing culture. A challenge that's steep indeed.
Martin Mayhew replaced the worst, and I repeat in bold font, WORST GENERAL MANGER IN SPORTS HISTORY just two offseasons ago. Prior to Mayhew's hiring, Millen did nothing but sink this team so far in to the ground that not even Jesus Christ himself could fix this franchise in the amount of time Mayhew has had to clean up this mess. He compiled the worst records and team stats in the history of the NFL over an 8 year span and the roster Jim Schwartz inherited after his hire was the equivalent (if not worse) to what the 1976 Buccaneers roster was when John McKay took over that team. Almost nothing to work with. Martin Mayhew wasted no time acquiring talent by trading then #1 receiver Roy Williams for a 1st, 3rd, and a 6th round draft pick, which was his first big move. Since that trade, Mayhew has wheeled and dealed numerous players and picks for younger talent to build the team for the future. Martin Mayhew may have been hired by Matt Millen, but he obviously learned from his mistakes on what not to do regarding personnel. He's done an admirable job drafting players as well as trying to fill gaps as quickly as he can. From last year's draft to this year's, he drafted at least 8-10 starters for the future, including a franchise QB, a star running back, an anchor on the defensive line and numerous quality role players as well. This is a massive rebuilding project, for anybody to do as much as Mayhew has done in just 2 offseasons would be a remarkable contribution to their respective team's future. And that's exactly what Mayhew is concentrating on...the future. It doesn't seem like he's worried about now as much as the fans are, but he knows what problems are ahead of him. He has done alot with so little and without alot of time to do it as well. Once they have a couple more offseasons to get all of the pieces needed to win, you will see how good of a job Mayhew has done so far. It just doesn't seem like it right now because the losses are still mounting.
Jim Schwartz has also taken a lot of heat recently, but you have to consider that he will need time as well to mold these young players into men and acquire more talent to win games. This isn't something that happens overnight, he will need the right players to succeed, develop them properly, and give time for them to grow into his system before the Detroit Lions will ever be good again. There is light at the end of the tunnel though. We have a strong core of young talent and once they grow into their roles and get better players around them, will be pretty darn good. That's the biggest difference I see from the previous regimes to the one the Lions have now, they are grooming these young players for the future and doing nothing but acquiring young talent any way they can acquire them to grow with them. Once they are fully developed with the proper players around them, the continuity and chemistry will also grow and we will see what Jim Schwartz and Martin Mayhew saw all the way back in April of 2009, which all started with the drafting of future franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford.
We need patience guys, as hard as that is to hear again and as much as we've all heard that before, this regime will eventually take us to a level we haven't been to since 1957. Once that day finally comes, I'm sure we will all be there cheering them on. I can't wait, but unfortunately, we all have to. But at least for once we can say we are headed in the right direction...something we haven't been able to say for half of a decade.