Here's what the Lions need to do :
Hire Jimmy Johnson as HC and give him total control over player and staff personnel ! Fire Mayhew if Johnson accepts. The Fords are owners that absolutely need guys like Jimmy Johnson calling the shots. See Ford Motor Company performance if you don't believe me. If the Fords do not have the Mullalys and Iacoccas of the world helping them run things - they're truly lost - they know this about themselves. I think Jimmy Johnson would love a shot at winning another title with a team like the Lions.
Laugh all you want about the strangeness of this opinion but, ask yourself this, who else could really change the "culture" around here ? Who has proven that they have the psychological " chops " as a HC to really turn around a losing culture. Johnson has done this with Oklahoma State and the Dallas Cowboys.
Upon hiring Johnson, Johnson would make something like the following watershed decisions:
He would build a top defense around Suh, Ansah, Levy, Fairley, and Quin. I think several " tough nut " free agent defensive players would come here to play defense for JJ. JJ would build a defensive coaching staff that would have the " attitude " needed to turn the D into a top defense - and quickly.
There would possibly be a complete overhaul in the secondary except for Quin.
Here's where it gets really interesting !!
On offense. I sincerely think that someone like JJ would make Stafford compete for the starting QB job in training camp 2014 ! He wouldn't just hand the starting job over to him. Stafford would really have to prove to JJ that he's ready to lead the team to wins, ( not just yards ), and that he's capable of sustaining the kind of consistency and accuracy at QB that a top NFL offense crucially needs. Basically, this last coaching staff went down with the Stafford ship, and so, Stafford will not be " given " anything in JJ's mind. I honestly think that JJ would let Shaun Hill, and maybe another FA QB with a solid track record of playing consistent mistake-free football, compete openly with Stafford.
Secondly. JJ would basically hold an open tryout for every WR position on the team not already held down by Calvin Johnson. Mark my words, if JJ were to become the Lions coach for the start of the 2014 season, we would have CJ and then another 4 or 5 quality receivers that catch the ball, and can either flat out " fly ", or at least move the chains.
I think JJ would bolster the OL depth and immediately find us a more physical center. This would lead to further changes in the running game, as in, JJ would bring in more bell-cow types of backs that can pound the rock. J Bell could become a 1000 yard back in this type of offense. I think Reggie Bush would immediately become more of a situational type of player like he was in NO - fine.
I think if the Fords really went on a campaign for him, Jimmy Johnson would take the job, and it would set up as one of the biggest stories in the NFL.
JJ could conceivably have us beating good teams and challenging in the playoffs in year 1 !
Then have us making runs at the Superbowl after year 1.
It is exciting to think about . . . and not only that . . . it is the kind of outlandish and yet truly effective change that this organization has needed now for over 50 freakin' years !