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Reactions to Colletto Promotion

It has been a week or so since Mike Martz was fired and Jim Colletto was promoted to be the offensive coordinator.  I gave my own opinion on the subject initially but haven't really shared what others thought about the move.  With that being said, here are some players' and columnists' reactions to the Colletto promotion:

Jon Kitna:

"I wish it would have been different, but at the end of the day, these are decisions coaches and management need to make, and as players, we need to just do our job," Kitna told The Associated Press on Thursday night. "I'm not sure what to expect because I've been immersed in coach Martz's system, so I'm not sure what Colletto's philosophies are.

"I'm just going to do the best I can to help make it work."

That's the right attitude to take.  I figured Kitna would be upset with the change for the obvious reason that he will no longer get to throw the ball as much as he has in the last two seasons.  Considering Martz turned Kitna into a 4,000 yard passer in both of his two seasons as offensive coordinator, you can see why Kitna would want him to stay.  Although Kitna doesn't sound too happy with the move, at least he didn't make any comments that are "out there" like he has in the past.

Damien Woody:

"The system isn't being completely overhauled, it's just a change of philosophy," Woody said. "There's going to be more continuity. We all knew there were some heated battles going on in with the coaching staff but now with Colletto and Kippy working together, I think everything will flow smoother. It's going to be better for everybody."

"We put our defense in a lot of bad situations because we were pass-happy and not converting on third down. In the games we had balance, we were pretty successful," Woody said. "To me, Coach Martz didn't see the whole picture. You've got to see the entire team, and I don't think he did that.

"Colletto is going to help the defense, he has an understanding of what it takes to win. The league has changed to a certain degree, but you've got to run the ball and play good defense to give yourself an opportunity to win."

Woody is definitely happy to see Martz go, but what does a fellow member of the o-line think?

Jeff Backus:

Another problem with the offense, which left tackle Jeff Backus also addressed after the last game of the season, was Detroit's lack of signature plays. When the offense would struggle, there was nothing for the players to fall back on.

"I don't think we had any bread-and-butter plays, at least I didn't feel that way," Backus said.

I can't disagree with that statement.  Plenty of times the Lions would get into a bad situation offensively and really just came out with a random play.  Sometimes the randomness of the play actually worked out as a positive for the Lions, but the majority of the time it turned out badly.  With a more balanced offense set to be in place, I don't doubt at all that there won't be a few plays put in place to fall back on, as the article says.

Mike Furrey:

On the promotions of Jim Colletto and Kippy Brown:

"I just hope we are all on the same page because that's what we need. I'm sure we're going to run the ball because that is what everyone is talking about - we didn't run the ball enough."

Why didn't it work with Martz:

"I don't know ... for some reason this year we never got going. The consistency wasn't there and the chemistry wasn't there for some reason. "

Furrey also mentioned that despite seeing the man that really made him into the receiver he is get fired, it was the right move, saying "we need to win some football games."  Amen, man.  That is the goal in football, and I don't care if Martz is a supposed offensive guru.  That doesn't mean squat when winning isn't happening, and if Furrey out of all people can see that, then you know it's true.

The Grand Rapids Press' Brian VanOchten:

Coach Rod Marinelli is trying to maintain continuity in the team's offense by promoting Colletto to the job of playcaller, but this is nothing but a compromise solution. He's showing loyalty to a member of his staff, which is commendable on one level, but Marinelli had a chance at least to place a phone call to fired Miami Dolphins coach and former San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and didn't.

That's inexcusable.

Cameron would be an ideal replacement for Martz.

He'd bring a less-complicated offensive system to the Lions, making better use of the passing game and assets such as wide receivers Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald. And quarterback Jon Kitna would embrace that switch instead of his "gee, I'll give a try under Colletto" comments reported this morning by The Associated Press.

Instead, Marinelli puts Colletto in charge. Good grief!

VanOchten's thoughts on this whole situation basically are the same as mine.  I agreed with the firing of Mike Martz as it was necessary, but to promote the man who was in charge of the league's worst offensive line is just ridiculous.  When someone like Cam Cameron is available, you make your best pitch possible and hope that he decides to pack his things and come to Detroit.  Continuity is great and all, but why exactly are we wanting to see that happen with someone who coached the league's worst o-line?  

I'm not going to completely throw Colletto under the bus until he has a chance to show me what he's got, but let's just say the leash is tight.  I'll give him a few weeks before a solid opinion is formed, although I really have one in my mind already.  I hope that I'm completely wrong on this, but I just don't see Colletto working out.  

On a somewhat similar note, is it time for Rod Marinelli to make it or break it?  I know we all hate firing and hiring a coach every few years, but should we really see this as Marinelli's chance to show what he is made of?  I know that it takes time to rebuild a franchise, especially the Lions, but I feel like progress has to be made in 2008 to keep him around.  I don't doubt at all that Millen won't fire Marinelli simply because that could be something that actually gets him fired, so I guess I'm going for the opinion of Lions fans.  Personally, I'm starting to get sick of Marinelli already, but maybe I shouldn't be too harsh on him considering this was Detroit's best season in the Millen era.

I know quite a few opinions from me sound like they've already been formed, and although that is true, to me 2008 is the year that will define where this franchise goes.  If an 8-8 season or better happens, then I would be ecstatic as progress would continue to be made.  If the Lions regress, though, and lose 10 or more games again, then it may be time to finally jump off this rollercoaster ride we've all experienced since Millen took over.  I would say that it would take some extraordinary things to get me to even care past this next season if the Lions lose 10 or more again.  Really, the only thing that could keep my interest in this team is if Millen got fired, and since that doesn't look like it's ever going to happen, they better win at least 7 games to keep my support going into 2009.

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