The proverbial ship has sunk. And Joe Lombardi is your captain. Or is it Jim Caldwell? Martin Mayhew? Matthew Stafford? Matt Millen?
Everyone. Fire everyone.
Let me start off by saying that I've long been a Martin Mayhew supporter ever since he was given the general manager job in late-2008. He made his mistakes early on and turned things around to give the Detroit Lions the talent needed to make the playoffs and contend. Following the 2011 playoff appearance, he was too conservative and stood pat with the players they had. This would prove costly, and the Lions followed up their wild-card playoff appearance with a disappointing 4-12 season.
The blame was put on former head coach, Jim Schwartz, and Mayhew was given another shot with a new coaching staff to sign off on. Enter Jim Caldwell. Mayhew brought Caldwell in to essentially fix the broken culture that Schwartz left behind and it worked for the most part. Players respected Caldwell and bought into the change of scenery. They responded with another playoff appearance and nearly won a playoff game if it weren't for some controversial calls and poor execution late in the game.
Fast forward another eight or nine months and the Lions have extremely high expectations heading into their second regular season under Caldwell. Fans are showing up to open practices at record-setting numbers and there is a certain buzz in the air that even I can't explain. People really love this team and are excited to see them build off of their previous playoff performance.
As I write this, the Lions are 0-4 and on the verge of going 0-5. They trail the Cardinals 28-7 at halftime and have turned the ball over five times. Many have already given up on this team, but this is the exact moment where I tell myself that it's 100 percent over. There is no hope left and the coaching staff has completely lost the team. I feel like I'm trapped in a time loop, sitting on my couch and watching the 2008 season all over again. Except this feels even worse than 2008. It feels worse because I actually let myself believe that things would be different. I mean truly believe.
Watching this team fail week-to-week has been unbearable. Almost as unbearable as watching a new Matthew McConaughey Lincoln commercial. We're now at the point where Matthew Stafford has been benched for Dan Orlovsky. I don't know whether to laugh, sob, or cry right now. Hold on, Jim Caldwell just chose to go for a field goal down 35-7. I choose to laugh hysterically.
Jim Caldwell may have turned things around last year, but he's always been a poor game manager. This showed against the Seahawks, when Seattle ran the ball with nearly two minutes left in the half and Caldwell decided to burn 30 seconds off the clock before calling their timeouts and getting the ball with just a minute left in the half. Not to mention several instances of calling timeouts after coming off of a commercial break. You can't make this stuff up, guys.
Caldwell was also once praised as a guy that could keep his players under control and limit the amount of stupid penalties his team received. I don't see any difference between this year's team and a Jim Schwartz coached team. I see the same idiotic mistakes and the same guns shooting the same feet. And don't think for a second that I forgot about you, Joe Lombardi. Calling the offense a dumpster fire would be giving it a compliment.
How is it that your general manager drafts specific offensive linemen that are more suited for a power-blocking scheme and your OC is exclusively running a zone-blocking scheme? How is it that there is that much disconnect between the GM and coaches that Manny Ramirez is the only halfway decent zone blocker on the team that fits your scheme? HOW?
Maybe this isn't all Martin Mayhew's fault, but this is the coaching staff that he signed off on. Maybe this team is still very talented, but this the only winless team in the NFL through five weeks and you have to start looking at results eventually.
Of course, if you fire the entire front office and make room for a new coaching staff, it can always be worse. Or maybe not. At this point, it doesn't matter. I think you have to take that risk. The elephant in the room is whether the Ford family even knows what they're looking for when searching for a new GM. I mean this is the same ownership that has been through the thick of it all. All of the tears and failure.
No one has it worse than Detroit Lions fans. No one. If someone tries to tell you otherwise, slap them in the face for me.