Matt Millen has three Super Bowl rings from his 12-year career as a linebacker in the NFL, but he will never be remembered for that. What he will be remembered for is the 31-97 record that the Detroit Lions posted in the 8 years that he was president of the franchise. Millen was eventually fired (or resigned if you believe the PR spin) in 2008, when the team finished an astounding 0-16, after which he returned to the broadcast booth much to the nation’s joy.
Now that John Elway is following in Millen’s player-to-personnel footsteps as the new executive vice president of the Denver Broncos, the man who oversaw the Lions’ Decade of Destruction is finally willing to admit that he sucked.
Boo this man, Detroit Free Press… BOO HIM!
“I hope John does better than I did, because I stunk at it,” Millen told the paper.
More excerpts from Millen’s “Terrible General Managing for Dummies” after the jump…
“It’s less about the game of football,” Millen said. “It’s less about X’s and O’s. It’s less about personnel decisions. It’s a job about managing people. It’s about building a consensus when you pick the right head coach. You can’t go in and be this football czar and say, ‘This is how it’s going to work.’ If you pick somebody that a coach doesn’t like and doesn’t coach, that’s a bad situation.
“Scouts all have certain types of players they like and don’t like. Some guys are good at evaluating backs, some guys aren’t good with safeties. Some guys are quarterback guys, some guys aren’t. Some guys like athletes, some guys like tough guys.”
Added Millen, “Some guys have all the luck, some guys have all the pain. Some guys get all the breaks, some guys do nothing but complain.”
My love for Rod Stewart aside, Millen has actually admitted once before that he was partially to blame and in fairness to him, the man to really blame is Lions owner William Clay Ford, Sr., who hired Millen despite having no front office experience and actually gave him a 5-year extension in 2005, when it was clear that Millen was impotent in the NFL orgy. But for the sake of poor, suffering Lions fans, this may provide jovial comfort or it may be too little, too late. Either way, I think it’s a remarkable step and hope that somewhere Steve Phillips is paying attention.
Meanwhile, I recently dug up this conditioning footage of the Lions from 2008: