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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Monday, November 28, 2005

No More Mooch for Motown

Steve Mariucci has been fired by the Detroit Lions. At 3:00pm CST today, Matt Millen will hold a press conference and announce his decision to let Mariucci go. Steve had a great career with the San Francisco 49ers, going 60-43 over six seasons, but couldn't ever get the ball rolling in Detroit, where he compiled a 15-28 record over nearly three full seasons. The rumors of his demise were widespread throughout the sportsworld, but when he made it through the weekend without the axe falling, most thought he'd at least finish the season. Well, Millen had other ideas as the pink slip came today for the man affectionately called "the Mooch" (from his name, not his personality, although he certainly adopted many Bill Walsh tactics).

Was the firing deserved? I'm not sure it's the best thing to do to a (very) young team with just five games left on the 2005 NFL season. Why not just wait for the end of the season, see if he can turn the 4-7 campaign around, and then make your decision? Is an interim or immediate hire coach going to be able to grab ahold of the reins and do any better? This team is so full of youth that it's hard to imagine any coach being able to make an impact over his first five games at the helm.

Is Matt Millen more to blame than Mariucci? Or at least shouldn't he shoulder equal blame for the calamity that are the Detroit Lions? He hired both Mariucci and the prior coach, Marty Mornhinweg. He is personally responsible, by either drafting or signing, all but three of the current players on the Detroit roster. His record of "success" since taking control as President and CEO of the Lions on January 9th, 2001? 22-55. That's the worst record in the NFL since 2001. Yes, I said The Worst.

So, will the firing of Steve Mariucci do anything to turn around the Lions? I hope the folks in Motown aren't expecting anything anytime soon. And the way the Tigers are looking, best stick with the Pistons. Or the Red Wings.


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