Monday, September 15, 2008

It's Getting Close To Time For Ford To Step In. Will He?

When it gets to this point, and everything has gone horribly wrong for the Lions, all the attention about the organization shifts to owner William Clay Ford.
Will he finally make a move?
Ford is personable enough. When I was the Lions beat writer, I enjoyed talking to him (they don’t dare venture him out there in front of the columnists, unless insured a soft ball interview). He was honest and forthright, too, particularly when Bobby Ross resigned. It was appreciated.
But there are two things about Ford as owner of the Lions I find to be disturbing. One is the constant reminder he gives to everybody in the organization that it is his team - and his team alone. He’s done that even to his own son.
Secondly, there is a complete and total disconnect between Ford and the fans. I have never heard him talk about fans before. It’s like he feels above them on some level. I have the same issue with Matt Millen, too. It’s as if these salt-of-the-Earth Lions fans are beneath him.

Random Thoughts

- The reason I asked Rod Marinelli about whether he has any time table for winning Sunday is because I felt like it was the question most everybody watching that game was thinking. I mean, if not now, when? This is his third year. His team looks no better prepared than during his first year.

- Before the Pac 10 starts talking too much smack about USC’s rout of Ohio State and Oregon’s road victory at Purdue, it should be considered Washington State was pounded by Baylor, Washington crushed by Oklahoma, California beaten by Maryland, Arizona State upset by UNLV, Stanford manhandled at TCU, Arizona beaten by New Mexico and UCLA beaten 59-0 by Brigham Young.
The Big Ten may not be too good, but the Pac 10 isn’t any better top-to-bottom.

16 Comments:

Blogger Damus Fucious777 said...

The Fords needed to 'step-in' five years ago. It was evident back then - that Millen wasn't working well with player-personnel or his selection of coaches - or style of play.

The only reason Millen lives today - is because he timed it perfectly with the opening of Ford Field. GMs that keep the stasdium packed - never get fired.

Want Millen to be dismissed?.... boycott Ford Field and NFL.com Lions apparel and souveniers.

12:40 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

With regards to Mr. Ford, it brings to mind a striking resemblance to the Maple Leafs (the Lions of the NHL) and their owner into the 1990's - one Harrold Ballard.

The belief - much like Mr. Ford and the Lions - was that the Leafs would never win while Ballard owned the franchise.

When Ballard passed away - above the sobs of greif could be heard the sighs of relief from die-hard Leafs fans - finally the Leafs can get better.

They didn't of course. Much like the Lions organization - the Leafs organization made money even with losing teams. And the internal organization is still so flawed it's doubtful it can ever be fixed.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that sometimes the problems of an organization are even bigger than the owner - and I have a feeling if the Lions were sold tomorrow - the same internal flaws would linger on for generations to come.

Even worse - I would hate for Mr. Ford's passing one day when it eventually comes - as it will one day for us all - to be overshowdowed by the false belief that the Lions will suddenly get better. Nobody deserves that emotion when they pass.

For Mr. Ford's own sake - I hope he can correct the problems before it really is too late.

1:17 PM 
Blogger D_Fenner said...

This year I am rooting for the Lions to go 0-16. And that is not because I have given up and am not a Lions fan anymore. It's exactly the opposite. I AM a Lions fan, therefore I realize the only circumstances in which Ford, Sr. will make the necessary changes is complete and total failure. They need to be the absolute worst in the league to benefit of the future. Matt Millen has guided the team to a 31-83 record during his tenure. Rod Marinelli can't continue to "lay the foundation" of the team for the next 3 years. Change needs to happen now, and on a large scale. Bill Cowher is only a phone call away ...

Dan

1:19 PM 
Blogger Rick said...

It's so embarrassing to be a Lions fan. The only good thing is that we knew they would stink, so we're not let down. Giving up 22 points as quickly as they did ... WOW! Everyone has to stay away; that's the only way Mr. Ford may even think about firing Matt Millen. That and those pictures ...

1:55 PM 
Anonymous Marty said...

Pat,

The question you asked Marinelli was a good question. I would like to know if he feels that he can win with this bunch, or if he feels he needs more overhauling. I also thought his answer was telling. It was straight forward - he can't get into what he doesn't have, because it undermines what he does have. He can only worry about next week, and try to make adjustments with what he has. If he gets into what he would like to be successful, he has no chance at being successful with what he has.

I find myself already looking at the draft next year. If we have a high pick (top 3) I would like the Lions to draft the best left tackle available (since they are almost impossible to find in free agency, or late in draft). If not, and they turn it around somewhat, I would like a linebacker, or a DE. I am not going to get into that game though, because it was upsetting. I am amazed that I was so upset over it, considering that I had no expectations to begin with. I am starting to believe that it would be better if I didn't watch the games, because I don't want to get emotional about something that really doesn't matter.

-Marty

2:19 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard Rod talking today on WDFN. Why on earth would Parker ask him if he will fire his son-in-law? Like Rod will say "Yes Rob. He Sux". Really.

9:33 PM 
Anonymous Marty said...

Pat,

I actually watched the 'tape' yesterday - of the game - and I don't feel nearly as hopeless as I did after watching the game the first time. The mistakes in the first half where individual mistakes, and not systematic problems, with the exception that not all eleven players were going to the ball. But most of all, the biggest problems on Offense seemed to be from Foster and Backus (and Kitna). It looks like the Foster issue is solved. Backus will probably have to wait until next year. Kitna may get benched soon enough as well.

Here is my take on Kitna - He throws a very catchable ball, and he has adequate pocket presense (seems to shift around properly - unlike Charlie Batch, or David Carr). He also is inaccurate with his throws, stares down his recievers, and holds on to the ball too long (mostly because he stares down his receivers). Orlovski throws a bullet (not as catchable), he is accurate and hits recievers in stride, and does not hold the ball very long. He does not throw on the move well at all, and he also stares down the receiver. Stanton seems to throw a catchable ball, but he is also not that accurate. he throws very well on the run, and has very good mobility. He seems to be injury prone, and probably does not have a solid grasp on the offense yet. Also, he throws the least accurate long ball of the three. So none of the QB's are perfect by any means, but I wouldn't mind seeing a change. I don't want a person like Jon Kitna leading the team. He just never takes accountability for his actions, and always seems to be whining. I am just tired of it.

Anyway, I would like to see Dizon start after the by-week. That will help the front seven, although they still need a SSLB. I hope they can get a new nose tackle next year as well. Alama-Francis played pretty well, so I was happy about that. A quick, strong, and talented defensive end would be nice as well. In all, their defensive line looks like a bunch of backups, plus Dewayne White and Corry Redding. And Redding is borderline. Don't get me wrong, I don't think they are bad, but they are not physically gifted enough. That was why I was happy to see Alama-Francis play well. He is one of the few who is physically gifted.

-Marty

9:17 AM 
Blogger John said...

Pat,

What are your thoughts on ND-UM? I know Michigan had six turnovers but as an Irish fan, no way would last years team been able to convert those turnovers into touchdowns the way this years team did. The most suprising thing I saw was the offensive line step up in such a big way. After rushing for negative yards and allowing eight sacks last year they allowed zero with no holding penalties and ran for over 100 yards against a very good defensive front.

Michigan despite the nightmare should be encouraged because Threet played really well and should be more than adequate down the stretch. McGuffie looked great as well, I was really impressed.

I can't wait for the ND-State game this weekend, I will be up there. I know State is favored but if the Irish come out with the intensity they did against Michigan I really like their chances.

John

11:06 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

damus fucious777,
Millen has sold Ford that he hasn't had the right coach for the player personnel he drafted, and that Marinelli would be the answer. That, obviously, hasn't been the case. I doubt even Ford would allow him to hire a fourth head coach.
Caputo

12:17 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
The oddity part between Ford and Ballard fits, but Ford is much more pleasant person than Ballard, who was totally out of control and did damage to the Leafs they still haven't recovered from. The Lions are not an overnight project. It will take time to overcome years of problems.
Caputo

12:19 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

d-fenner,
Cowher would definitely bring back interest, but would he want control of player personnel? That hasn't worked well in the past, even with the best coaches.
Caputo

12:20 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

rick,
If this season continues the way it has, I do believe Ford will make a move with Millen - finally.
Caputo

12:21 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Marty,
I just asked the question most fans are wondering about. When are they going to start winning? It had to be asked and Marinelli was wrong to respond that way.
Caputo

12:22 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
I think there are some questions about whether Rod favors Barry too much because he is his son-in-law. Saw nothing wrong with the question.
Caputo

12:23 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Marty,
The Lions made a lot of good plays in that game. Calvin Johnson is a great talent and probably will be a great player. But as good as the comeback was, the collapse was 10 times worse. The Lions don't know how to win. It makes it very difficult to find any silver linings in their cloud.
Caputo

12:25 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

John,
Michigan was mistake prone, true, but Notre Dame did what it had to in order to win. ND's schedule is very weak,so they could have a winning season. That might not have been the case had the Irish lost Saturday.
Caputo

12:27 PM 

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