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Martz Is Right

Ex-Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz talked with ChicagoSports.com recently and had some interesting things to say.  He was sort of complimentary at one point when talking about the Lions, but then flat out said that the Lions aren't even close.  

Before getting to Martz's criticism of the Lions, here is a complimentary statement he made about his former employer:

"[San Francisco head coach Mike Nolan]came in and cleaned this thing up personnel wise, and he did a marvelous job. Dick [Vermeil]had done the same thing in St. Louis. I came in right at the end of it and caught the benefits of it. That wasn't the situation in Detroit. They had to go through the process of cleaning the personnel up, and they're doing a good job of that. Next year I think they'll start to realize some of the benefits of it and be a better team."

Although he says above that the Lions will be a better team next year (I assume that means the 2008 season), he goes on to later say that this team isn't even close.
"There are one or two things you would like to upgrade a little bit here, but the rest of it is in place," Martz said. "They're not even close in Detroit. So it's a big difference.

As harsh a statement as that may be, Martz is right.  This team really isn't even close.  If a competent GM was employed right now, then I would say this team could be turned into one that is playoff-caliber in only two years.  All it takes is someone that realizes the needs of the team, and then goes out and gets players that are good enough to fill those needs.  Sounds simple, right?

Well, although teams have been turned from losers into Super Bowl contenders in only a year or two before, the Lions just never seem to have that luck.  I know that 7-9 is an improvement over what we have seen before in the Millen era, but let's be real about this.  A playoff team isn't going to have an offensive line leading the league in sacks allowed.  That stat alone should tell Millen that it's time to go build a new -line.  Whether it is done via the draft or free agency, it just has to happen.

Other than the offensive line, the only thing the Lions need is a new quarterback.  I will give Millen the benefit of the doubt in saying that finding a franchise QB isn't easy, but by now you think he would get lucky at least once.  After Harrington, Garcia, Kitna, and a couple others that had brief stints as a Lions starter, Millen still is looking for someone to be "the" QB in Detroit.  And no, Kitna is not that man. (Drew Stanton isn't either, if you were wondering)

Shifting to defense, the d-line isn't bad, but it isn't great at either.  Shaun Rogers can be a Pro Bowl-type player for a few weeks and then completely stink just weeks later, so his inconsistency definitely raises some concern.  A need for a defensive end to compliment Dewayne White also is present, because it looks like Kalimba Edwards will never realize his potential, and Jared DeVries, although he had a solid season, isn't exactly a dominant player.  

Moving back towards the defensive backfield, where do I even begin?  Detroit needs a middle linebacker and many corners. That has been the case for the last few years, and that problem still exists to this day.  Shocking, isn't it?

All I can say to Mike Martz about his comments is that you, sir, are correct.  This team isn't close now and probably never will be as long as Millen is here.  Rather than work hard to fix this team by signing players in free agency, making smart draft picks, and finding hidden gems on day 2 of the draft, we have to continue to watch Millen screw this mess up.  It's not like his profession is rocket science or something like that.  I know that being an NFL GM isn't easy, but come on, man, I'm pretty sure my dog could make better decisions than you.

In the end, it sadly seems like we always come back to one thing: Fire Millen.  How long until WCF realizes that this buffoon needs to go?  Oh, my bad, he is a buffoon as well.  When you have two idiots running things, mediocrity like this should be expected.