"I said at the beginning of the season, come on out and I think you'll like what you see. And I think the people who came out, they like what they see because they see discipline. They see the approach is right, they're practicing right. All the little things. Everybody has a different saying. Rod says pound the rock. (Joe) Paterno said take care of the little things, the big things will take care of itself. Al Davis said block, tackle and be right, baby. The successful ones all say the same thing, they say it differently. We're doing it the right way, that's why I know it'll work."
(cheerfully stolen from a gene wojciechowski colum over at espn.com, because it's priceless....(
17: The most underpaid person in the NFL is …
Whoever had to write Millen's bio in the 2008 Lions media guide. Millen probably gave the author a choice: Scrub the Ford Field roof with a toothbrush or write the bio.
Excerpts from the bio:
• For Lions President and CEO Matt Millen, success in the National Football League is simple: "The team that wins the Super Bowl is successful and the other 31 teams are not."
(Well, isn't that convenient logic. So Millen is saying that the Lions' 7-9, nonplayoff 2007 season was the equivalent of the Patriots' 18-1 record -- all because neither team won the Super Bowl? Uh, Matt, Lions fans would eat artificial turf if you'd guarantee them a Super Bowl loss. These people haven't seen the Lions in the playoffs since 1999, and haven't seen them win a postseason game since 1991.)
• Millen also believes that no team can achieve that success without the proper leadership from its head coach …
(He should know; he hired three of them in his first six years.)
• … and that is why the decision to hire Rod Marinelli in 2006 may prove to be the very best move Millen has made during his tenure as team president.
(Or not. The author left some wiggle room there.)
• During the Lions' head coaching search, Marinelli distinguished himself as the type of individual Millen believed was clearly needed to lead the Lions.
(Millen to Marinelli during interview process: "What type of individual are you?"
Marinelli to Millen: "The type who believes I'm clearly needed to lead the Lions."
Millen to Marinelli: "You have distinguished yourself.")
• Millen saw in Marinelli a head coach who would emphasize the game's vital elements, including what Marinelli refers to as the "non-talented characteristics" that players must possess in order to be successful in the NFL. Since then, Millen and Marinelli have worked in concert to formulate a roster of players who embody the "football character" qualities Marinelli adamantly deems are necessary for success in the NFL.
(Seriously, $100 to anyone who can tell me what the hell they're talking about.)