We got a great comment from a reader asking for our take on who would be a good replacement for Matt Millen. There are a lot of good candidates, including the 18 listed by the Free Press recently. There are a few that really stand out on that list:
-Floyd Reese, former Titans GM and current ESPN NFL analyst. Reports say this guy wants the job, which is going to be half the battle for the Lions. It should not be played up too much, however. The kinds of guys applying for this job, at least the ones we're looking for , are going to get a charge out of building a team from the ground up and making it their own. You got the feeling that Matt Millen never really was that excited about building a team. I don't know, maybe it was the trips home a few states away that tipped me off, whatever, I'm over it. Anyway, Floyd Reese built a solid team in Tennessee, but there are some definite blemishes on his resume. Yes, one of his teams was a yard away from winning the Super Bowl, but look how their team was built: they did not have much success after that year. They kept starting a banged-up quarterback well past his prime (Steve McNair), they never really invested in wide receivers to help him out, and they relied mostly on an inexperienced but freakishly athletic defensive line. That isn't exactly the way I would go about building a team for the future. Oh, and he drafted Vince Young, aka Captain Crazy. Not a good move.
-One who I think could be a keeper , Ruston Webster, Seahawks VP of Personnel. This guy got into the game as a scout, and moved his way up as a scout as well. If there is one thing the Lions need, it is a man in charge who knows talent when he sees it. This guy picked linebacker Lofa Tatupu, a pro bowler, and was a VIP in the piecing together of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl-winning squad. That team wasn't exactly built for the future either, but the Lions are in no position to get picky. At all. And this guys young, which must be good, right?
-Tom Heckert, Eagles GM. The list makes a good point about this guy wanting out from under Andy Reid's foot, and that will play a larger role than people think. He clearly knows how to build and run a team, as the Eagles have been good since like, 2002. Wow, that's a long time ago. Anyway, he's from Adrian, which is something.
Look, what the Lions don't want, and what they wont necessarily attract, is a head guy at an established team who wants another note on his football pedigree. Anyone who knows anything about football knows that taking over the Lions is like taking over a problematic, 15-year-old foster child who's already experimenting with crack cocaine: it's gonna take some time, some patience, and some commitment. A young guy looking to make a name for himself would be perfect, and also living in the state of Michigan would be appreciated. The Lions are on the right track by firing Matt Millen and dumping this season. Now, they have some time to pick a decent replacement. Let's hope they use it wisely.