Former Tennessee Titans general manager Floyd Reese discussed the Lions' current situation with the Detroit Free Press yesterday. Reese was the GM for the Titans from 1994-2006 and was very successful. He resigned from the Titans in January of 2006 and now is an analyst for ESPN. The reason for his resignation sounds more like he was forced out as it seems he and Titans coach Jeff Fisher didn't get along all that well. A struggle for power was likely the cause of the issues between them and what eventually led to Reese being let go.
Reese said many insightful things about the Lions and what they should spend the rest of the season doing. He made a great point that this is a time to evaluate everything. By the end of the season there has to be an idea of what the Lions should do next. Whether it is keep the situation the way it is or find a new general manager and overhaul everything, by the time 2009 arrives a plan has to be put together.
If the Lions do in fact decide to hire a new general manager, Floyd Reese would be very interested. In fact, he said he could be in Detroit tomorrow.
Are you interested [in being the Lions' GM]?
A: "If I had Williams Clay Ford's number, you'd be hearing a dial tone right now. I'm in a unique situation. I've been in the league 32 years. ... I could be in Detroit tomorrow.
"One of the real uncut gems in the NFL is Detroit. It has a great owner. He's got a lot of money. He wants to win very badly, and he's not one of those guys that's on the sidelines. He just wants to find someone that can help him win."
Analyzing different candidates for the job is something that will happen down the road, but I wouldn't be opposed to the hiring of Reese. He did have some issues with the salary cap and Jeff Fisher at Tennessee, but you can't argue with how his teams did. During his tenure, the Titans/Oilers won 111 games. That's over three times as many games as the Lions won when Matt Millen was the general manager. Reese was a GM longer than Millen, but still, that's a pretty big difference.
I'm sure Reese won't be the last person to throw his name out there for the GM job. As stated already, though, nothing really will mean anything until after the season if William Clay Ford sticks to his initial plan. I would hope we will hear things about interviews being scheduled before the season officially ends, but it doesn't look like that is going to be the case. It seems like Ford is content with how things are right now and won't interview anyone until the GM job is officially vacant. Considering Martin Mayhew is the GM right now, we may have to wait awhile for anything to really develop.
One other thing I want to mention is that Reese has actually worked for the Lions before. From 1975-77, Reese was the Lions' strength and conditioning coach, and he spoke very highly of William Clay Ford from his time with the team.
"He used to come into the office. He was just a delight. I know there's a lot of people that aren't happy with Mr. Ford. I've been in the business for 32 years, and he is one the most generous, kind owners in the league. He really wants to win."
I think it's pretty obvious that Matt Millen was able to avoid being fired for as long as he did because WCF is too nice. That's not a bad quality to have as a person, but in business it can hurt whatever you're running in a big way. Taking a look at the Lions will provide perfect evidence of that.