Monday, December 22, 2008

This Is Just William Clay Ford Being William Clay Ford

If anyone is surprised William Clay Ford’s first public comments this season presented confusion about what he is going to do with the Lions’ future, they shouldn’t be.
Ford has a long track record of exactly this type of thing. It’s why Russ Thomas was general manager for so long. And why he stuck with Wayne Fontes as head coach throughout the 1990s, despite talent that was better than the record indicated. Before he hired Matt Millen, the Lions front office was unclear as can be. They had a number of vice presidents. Chuck Schmidt was probably the highest ranking, but it was never made apparent. Then Ford just gave Millen the keys to everything - including the business end of the operation. There is no rhyme nor reason for the way he operates.
At least Ford left the door open for Rod Marinelli’s departure. And that is the big hope - that the Lions land a good head coach. It’s just the draft is the lifeblood of an NFL franchise and the Lions have been confused on draft day forever. It’s not like their coaches have been on a level field when it comes to the talent of their players.
Everyone knew Tom Lewand was going to be retained, but he deals with the business end of the operation. Martin Mayhew as a general manager is curious. He is tied closely to Millen’s record as his assistant. He did make a good deal to land the Lions a number of draft choices for Roy Williams, but other than that, what’s his track record been? He may be the next general manager. If he isn’t, he may have a hand in who is getting hired for the position. That part doesn’t make sense. If Ford has been impressed with Mayhew, fine, but don’t have him be part of the hiring process for a new personnel guy unless he is the general manager.
Ford would still be wise to look around a little bit. The game plan for all this should already be in place. It’s disappointing it isn’t already. Millen was fired how many months ago?
It speaks volumes to how detached Ford is from the public - despite Ford Field being half-empty. It also speaks to his lack of effort when it comes to digging out the best possible talent for his front office.
Status quo is fine with Ford. Even if it means losing like no NFL team has ever lost before. Amazing.

Random Thoughts

- The Pistons would currently be a fifth seed in the Eastern Conference for the playoffs. They are just three games ahead of the ninth seed (Milwaukee), but 10 1-2 games behind the first seed (Boston). It may still be remote, but there is a danger of this season slipping away beyond what could have been imagined. The Pistons’ 10-11 record since the Iverson trade isn’t exactly comforting.

- Goran Suton is a vastly underrated player. His absence is why Michigan State struggled early in the season. His return is why they beat Texas Saturday. It’s pretty simple.

- The Red Wings ended last season with five players ranked among the Top 13 in the NHL in plus-minus ratio (Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Brian Rafalski, Nicklas Lidstrom and Niklas Kromwall.. So far this season, they don’t anybody in the Top 13. Nicklas Lidstrom is the highest ranking Red Wing at 18th with plus-13. Says a lot about how the Red Wings must tighten up defensively.


Blogger maddog52 said...

Yep what can u say. It is William Clay Scrooge saying to his fines. Merry Christmas and a Jolly FU to all of his fans. What a slug? He even looks like a slug when they show pictures of him in his box. I am glad he comes out and speaks. Jsut like a ground hog. Now he crawls back in his whole and we won't hear a peep until february. Yeah a new head coach is needed. At the same time we need talent and a good personal man. Is mayhew that guy who knows. We will find out now.

As far as the Red Wings yeah they aren't playing that quote on quote playoff hockey just yet, but Igot a feeling they will get there.

On the Pistons. If it wasn't obvious at the trade deadline it is obvious now. This is about retooling and hitting that FA. Micheal Curry looks lost. All that t alk about Amir. Look if the cat ain't going to play. hell trade and get something while you can. I think this small lineup is going to hurt us down the stretch. Personally I'd say start Stuckey, AI, TP, Maxiell or Amir and Rasheed. Bring McDyess, and Rip off the bench to provide a strong punch with that second unit. But that is just me.. we will see how it goes, but if we do make the playoffs I see second round and or an earlier exit..

2:39 PM 
Blogger Sandy Gholston said...

Pat, I agree with you about the Pistons. I feared this when the trade was initially made. I was encouraged when the Pistons put Stuckey into the starting lineup. Once Ben Wallace left I wanted the Pistons to go to the smaller lineup with Chauncey at the two, Rip at the three, Tayshaun at the four and Rasheed at the five. They would have had to develop that point guard (who right now would be Stuckey). I think they could have gotten away with this lineup against most teams and been successful. The biggest problem with Iverson is he shoots such a low field-goal percentage so it takes him a lot of shots to get his points on most nights. The upside is that he can take over a game down the stretch and get to the free throw line. You're right, the Pistons could stay where they are or slip further down the ladder.

7:37 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I thought Amir Johnson would give the Pistons a lot more quality minutes than he has. He is still very young. It wouldn't be wise for the Pistons to give up on him.

1:54 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Sandy Gohlston,
I thought when they got Iverson, they would go to a smaller a lineup and play at a much faster tempo. It hasn't happened that way.

1:56 PM 

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