Dec. 16, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA: Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) greets Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt following the game at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Lions 38-10. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mother Nature dumped a ton of snow on the Detroit area in the last week, leaving Lions fans with a snow day today. That means lots of time to contemplate why we’re not rehashing what happened to the Detroit Lions this past weekend in the playoffs.
The Lions should have opened the playoffs with a home game this past weekend; we should be playing Monday Morning Quarterback til the cows come home today. Instead, we’re left with a season that reminds me of the Detroit Tigers playing the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. So much promise turned into an unwatchable train wreck. You had to turn your eyes away from the carnage. It’s better to just move on and never speak of it again.
This fan base deserves so much better than it’s getting. Which leads me to the ten requirements the Detroit Lions should be looking for in their next head coach.
1. Have the biggest set of shoulders in the room: You’re going to have to carry around an entire franchise’s fifty year history of playoff futility. Someone to impose his will on the franchise, not the other way around.
2. Have the biggest set of “You know what’s” in the room: There are some large personalities on this team, and I get the feeling the players steamrolled the last head coach. It has to be the same set of rules for everybody.
3. Know your History: They roll into town, poo-pooing the Lions history because there is no way it will continue on his watch. Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it.
4. Develop your players: This is something that bugs me about the Detroit Lions coaches. They don’t seem to make them better players over the course of the season or from year to year.
5. Don’t be afraid to be great: This franchise badly needs someone to take the reigns on this team, and give it a face. The Lions need almost a Lombardi type to get this team out of it’s fatalistic ways.
6. Once you have some success, work harder: This is where Jim Schwartz lost the team; when they came into training camp after a 10-6 season and a playoff loss, thinking that they had made it. He couldn’t have been more wrong.
7. Be in the room when Martin Mayhew makes the second pick: Just make sure when that second pick comes rolling around that if there’s even the tiniest red flag, you talk Mayhew down from that gamble.
8. Don’t talk to us like we’re morons: After a while, you could feel Schwartz’s hatred for the media in his voice. He took questions like he was at a firing squad. It trickled down to us, and we could feel it.
9. Make the players interact with the fans at training camp: I was appalled at how the players were allowed to mostly ignore the fans after practice, and just saunter past them and act like they weren’t even there.
10. Just win a playoff game: Everyone and their brother is going to remind you that we’ve only won one stinking playoff game in over fifty years. Just get it out of the way next year, and you’re good.