Detroit Lions’ owner William Clay Ford Sr. fired head coach Rod Marinelli on Monday and then promoted Martin Mayhew to general manager and Tom Lewand to team president.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry, assistant offensive line coach Mike Barry and secondary coach Jimmy Lake also were fired, and defensive line coach Joe Cullen’s contract will not be renewed.
Offensive coordinator Jim Colletto was reassigned to offensive line coach.
Assistant director of pro personnel Dave Boller will not be retained.
The Lions went 10-38 under Marinelli. They started 6-2 last season and seemed on the verge of turning things around, but went 1-23 since.
The finale came Sunday, when the Lions lost at Green Bay, 31-21.
“Overall, the record speaks for itself,” Marinelli said after the game. “We know what that is. My feelings about it will be kept to myself, but the record speaks for itself.
You have to hand it to Marinelli – he always handled himself well. There’s no question he had to be fired, but he’ll find a job as a defensive coach (maybe not as a coordinator) soon.
I don’t know much about Mayhew; maybe he is the right guy for the general manager job. But when you hire a guy that had a hand in building a perennial loser over the years, what message are you trying to send to your fan base? Why not go out and get someone from a winning organization to try and get you back to respectability? Why not hire someone who understands how to build a winner? Not a guy that was already on board when the team was losing.
This was a bad decision by Ford Sr. and one that probably has set the Lions back even further. (If that’s even possible after finishing 0-16.)