Think back with me to the end of the Matt Millen era in Detroit. Scott Pioli was one of the candidates at the front of Lions fans minds as the person the organization should look to as they rebuilt out of the ashes. As we know, Pioli went to the Chiefs and the Lions hired Martin Mayhew.
We already know what the Lions got in Martin Mayhew and yesterday’s game helps to show what the Lions didn’t get in Scott Pioli. The Chiefs were a surprise team last year but are already one of the most disappointing teams of 2011. It might be a lot to say after just two weeks, but the Lions and Chiefs look like teams headed in the opposite direction.
It could be argued that the divergence we’re now seeing was set up at the very beginning. Mayhew and Pioli oversaw their first drafts in 2009. Those players are now in their third year of professional football and should be playing important roles for their teams. It hasn’t worked out that way in KC. The Chiefs are likely to have nothing to show for that draft in the near future except for kicker Ryan Succop. Meanwhile, the Lions have a strong foundation built on that draft with Matthew Stafford, Brandon Pettigrew, Louis Delmas, DeAndre Levy and Sammie Hill. That draft also netted them Dan Gronkowski who was later traded for Alphonso Smith. Now that is a productive draft!
As if outdoing his Kansas City counterpart wasn’t enough, Mayhew brought some swagger during an encounter at Ford Field on Sunday. Scott Pioli accused the Lions of tampering with some of his players last season and it is obvious that Martin Mayhew hasn’t gotten over it. Chris McCosky recounts the event:
As dismissals go, this one was pretty thorough.
Not only did the Lions send the woeful Kansas City Chiefs packing with a 48-3 boot in the rear, but general manager Martin Mayhew waved away the Chiefs’ Scott Pioli’s attempt to bury the hatchet just moments after the game.
It was Pioli who accused the Lions of tampering before the 2010 season. As the two general managers approached the same elevator at the end of the game Sunday, Pioli called out to Mayhew and extended his right hand.
Mayhew shook his head and turned his back on Pioli.
From the draft, to the tampering accusations, to the product that ended up on the field today, it is obvious that Scott Pioli has his way of doing things and Martin Mayhew has his. I like Mayhew’s.