Monday, January 05, 2009

How Much Credibility Does Millen Have Left As An Analyst?

I used to wonder - a lot of times aloud - when Matt Millen was team president of the Lions why he insisted on staying in the job.
He was a really good player. And he was a terrific broadcaster, who was clearly on the rise at FOX. It seemed like he was pretty good at everything in life - except for running an NFL franchise. And he did run the Lions into the ground.
Now that he has returned to network television, I just wonder how Millen, who is going to be part of NBC’s Super Bowl coverage, is going to fly. It isn’t going over too well around this town for obvious reasons, but there isn’t the same type of animosity from the rest of the nation toward Millen.
He’ll be judge strictly on his credibility. Especially if he stays in studio, Millen’s position will be to critique organizations and players and coaches rather than specific plays. I have a feeling there will be constant pointing to his record with the Lions.
It’s where staying with the Lions for so long might come back to bite Millen. This wouldn’t be nearly the same issue if he had departed three years ago after his initial five-year contract with the Lions would have expired.
Note: To read my column in Monday’s Oakland Press about Millen go to, click on the sports banner and then "columns."
Random Thoughts
- If the Lions are planning to draft a quarterback in the first round, either at first overall or what will probably be 20th overall with their second first-round choice, Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey would make some sense as head coach. He did an excellent job of developing Falcons rookie quarterback Matt Ryan this season. Mularkey did not have similar success with J.P. Losman when he was the head coach at Buffalo, but it’s often forgotten that Losman was setback by a leg injury he suffered his rookie season.
- I wonder if Rex Ryan is really that good of a defensive coordinator or whether it’s the stellar players on the Ravens’ defense like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed that set it apart. I mean former Ravens’ defensive coordinators Marvin Lewis and Mike Nolan didn’t exactly set the NFL world on fire as head coaches, did they?
- Beating Illinois at home Sunday and avoiding an 0-2 start to the Big Ten season was necessary for Michigan’s basketball team to contend for an NCAA tournament bid. The Wolverines must hold homecourt in Big Ten play whenever possible to finish .500 or better in the conference to secure the NCAA bid, which they haven’t received in a decade. The Wolverines’ chances of being able to do that would have been greatly reduced had they lost Sunday. Illinois had Purdue on the road, so it wasn’t an easy victory to secure.


Blogger Fred Brill said...

Millen would have fit better in the Fox News organization rather than their Sports department. I don't believe a damned thing their news organization says.

12:22 PM 
Anonymous Hollis Keys said...

Book, Matt Millen has no credibility as an analyst until he apologizes to the Lions fans for destroying this franchise. For him to continue to sell the snake oil along with Rod Marinelli about the great foundation they established here and how it can turn around quickly like in Miami and Atlanta is a total misrepresentation of the facts. 4 NFL starters plus your 2 kickers is not the stuff that enables such turnarounds as those. And if there was so much to build with and Marinelli was so much of a great stud coach-then where did 0-16 and 10-38 come from. Until he admits fully to what he really did here and doesn't look to affix blame to some other outside influence then he has no credibility to look at another organization and comment on what they have or do not have, or what they should do or should not do whether it be on the field or off of it. He must have a sharp shovel like Marinelli too.

5:38 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Well, obviously you aren't a conservative. But Millen's "interview" bordered on ridiculous.

5:47 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Hollis Keys,
It was funny Millen said the Lions are close to being a contender and praised Marinelli so. It was obvious Marinelli was in way over his head as a head coach.

5:49 PM 
Anonymous Marty said...


I actually agree with Fred. I am conservative, and I still believe that Fox News is a joke. Just because they tell you what you want to hear doesn't mean that what they are telling you is right.

I felt that Millen was a horrible executive from the moment he released James Jones his first year. He takes the heart of the defense away for no apparent reason, and had no replacement for him.

He just reinforced that belief by releasing Johnie Morton the day after telling him that he would remain on the team. Not that I thought he was worth the money, but Millen did not keep his word showing what kind of character he had. He continued to show his poor character by talking about his own players behind their backs on national radio, then again to Johnie Morton after he was gone.

Getting rid of their top two offensive lineman right off the bat made no sense either (Jeff Hartings and Mike Compton). They were the only two players on the OL that were above average, and he got rid of both right away. Both ended up winning Superbowls.

I just realized that I could go on and on about his poor decisions, (as many already have) so I will stop. I apologize about venting here, I was frustrated with Millen since his first season, and he never seemed to learn.


3:48 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Actually in Canada, I am a Conservative, which in the States translates to a left winger.

I only wish I could play left wing.

Millen is gone. But apparently not forgotten. Honestly, don't you think every other analyst is going to throw the Lions in his face every chance they get? It's another bad decision by Millen - this time (thankfully) he will only embarrass himself.

11:01 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I forgot about the James Jones release. Just the way it happened the night before the season opener set a bad tone for that first season. And he was particularly wrong about Hartings, referring to him as "just a guard."

2:31 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
It is a slap to Lions' fans, but I'm not sure if the rest of the country is that outraged by Millen as an analyst.

2:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live at the epicenter of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, the most deserted of places; a place some believe to be Hell on earth. I can assure you that even here, where few men dwell, those who think, look at analyst Millen on the television and can only sneer, snort and snicker.

1:26 AM 

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