Martin Mayhew: If I were in his shoes…


It’s been made very clear after week 3 for the Detroit Lions, that Martin Mayhew needs to make some changes.

In an interview with Golden Tate, he was quoted as saying that in every game, a player has come up to him and told him they knew what play they were running.

This is never a good thing. That’s called predictable offensive play calling. I know we all know the phrase. Remember, we used it a lot when we would watch the play calling of Scott Linehan as our offensive coordinator? Now it’s looking to be the same thing under Joe Lombardi, only worse.

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Earlier this week, Jim Caldwell had made it very clear he was not thinking about taking over the play calling for the Detroit Lions offense. So, what needs to be done at this point?

Aside from the offensive line woes, the lack of a good running game even with powerful runners like Ameer Abdullah in the lineup, and the lackluster play of the linebacking corps, there need to be some changes made around in the coaching realm.

Also at SLR: Joe Lombardi’s Time in Detroit may be up

Now, I know everyone is calling for Lombardi’s head. His playcalling is obviously not getting the job done, which is frustrating to us fans. When you look on paper, this is one of the most talented rosters the Detroit Lions have ever had.

I know this is going to sound a bit radical, and maybe a bit crazy, but just hear me out. To me, this makes perfect football sense and with the right timing, and if done right, can help right this ship before the season is completely blown. There is way too much talent on this team to let this season keep sinking as it is.

My first step would be to demote Joe Lombardi to QB coach. He did well in the position in New Orleans. He helped out Drew Brees quite a bit. I believe he can still be successful in that aspect involving Matthew Stafford, Dan Orlovsky, and any other QB we may pick up along the way. He was a great QB coach. As an Offensive Coordinator, not so much.

Sep 27, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell looks on during the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The next step, demote Jim Caldwell to Offensive Coordinator. When he took over the Offensive Coordinator role with the Baltimore Ravens, after initially being hired as a QB coach, the team went on a hot streak, which eventually lead to the Ravens in the Superbowl. He knows how to utilize powerful offensive weapons. His play calling made sense there, and I believe with him calling plays in Detroit, he can do the same thing here.

Nov 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi talks to wide receiver Golden Tate (15) during the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Ford Field. Detroit won 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Next, promote Teryl Austin from being the Defensive Coordinator to the head coaching position. Let’s face it, after this season, many teams will be bidding for him as their head coach. This turns into a win/win scenario for Martin Mayhew and the Detroit Lions. Not only do they retain one of the best defensive coordinators they have had, but they have a head coach who, much like Caldwell, demands respect and believes in the next man up mentality and will build the team around that mentality.

And finally, promote Senior Coaching Assistant Gunther Cunningham up to the Defensive Coordinator position. Cunningham has been around the block a time or two. I am pretty sure with what Austin has set up on the defense, he could easily step in and fill those shoes. Plus, with Austin as head coach, if he doesn’t like something, he can work with Cunningham to fix it.

Overall, with Caldwell not stepping in to start calling plays, I think this would be the best fix scenario. But, it all starts with Martin Mayhew making the decision upstairs to do so. I know a lot of this is easier said than done. But, if gone about correctly, this could really turn into a setup that could help fix the team’s woes, aside from personnel on the field.

Mark DeGain is a columnist for of the FanSided Network. For further Detroit Lions news, rumors and analysis, be sure to follow him on twitter at @SLR_Mark!

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