Is Martin Mayhew Any Better Than Matt Millen As Detroit Lions General Manager?

By Brian Kalchik
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Current Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew was able to survive the collapse that was the second half of the 2013 season. His first hand-picked coach, Jim Schwartz, did not. As of now, Mayhew’s tenure has only been slightly better than that of his former boss Matt Millen.

After the former Oakland Raider player was fired as Lions general manager during the 0-16 campaign in 2008, Mayhew had a can’t lose situation. If he failed he would get a pass because Millen left him a train-wreck that could not be salvaged. If he succeeded he would be seen as a success for turning the worst single-season team in NFL history.

Millen’s regime was known for complete ineptitude all across the board with the on field performance being one of the worst stretches in modern NFL history (31-81 over seven seasons). Personnel moves turned out to be disasters, including drafting three wide receivers (Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams) in the first round from 2002-04. Only three of Millen’s 62 total draft picks were on the 2013 active roster.

While everyone can and has piled on Millen for his complete failure during his eight seasons, Mayhew is not far behind in terms of ineffectiveness.

During Mayhew’s tenure, his only coach has been Jim Schwartz only for five seasons. But aside from a fluke 10-6 Wild-Card appearance in 2011 that saw the team beat zero teams above .500, Schwartz went 19-45 over the other four seasons.

Mayhew has inherited some of the misfortune of Millen when it comes time to the draft. High picks like Jahvid Best, Titus Young and Mikel Leshoure have either not been able to stay on the field or have brought shame and embarrassment to the organization.

Why does Mayhew seem to be getting a pass? Is it because replaced a color commentator who had zero experience prior to his ascension to the throne, or is Mayhew yet another piece that the Ford family, the owners of the Lions, will stick with no matter how bad the team performs?

The pressure will continue to remain on Mayhew as he will have his second head coach of his tenure in the presumed coming weeks with a wealth of good candidates to choose from. The pressure is now solely on Mayhew to get this franchise back on the right track, and that, my friends, is no joke.

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