Detroit Lions Rebuild: Some Observations

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions Rebuild On Track

It was lost for a while in the Detroit Lions short win streak, but the team is still only a few weeks away from the process of rebuilding.  As a fan base, we’re only 7 years removed from the last one, so this isn’t completely unfamiliar territory.  Unlike the last rebuild, however, there seems to be very little hubris in the Lions organization as far as how the rebuild should proceed.  Bringing in Ernie Accorsi is a significant proving point to that effect, but statements made around the organization have given us some insight into how things will proceed.  We’re a few weeks into the revelation that the Detroit Lions are rebuilding, so let’s look at a few things we can identify to help us gain an understanding for what lies ahead.

Rod Wood Was A Smart Hire, But Not for Why You Think

Many fans weren’t, well, fans of the Rod Wood hire.  While he isn’t an internal hire in a literal sense, having never worked for the Detroit Lions organization, Wood has been a long time confidant of the Ford family and handled many of their non-football business.  He’s made at least one notable misstep already, and we’re probably going to see more of them as the offseason progresses. Fans in general were upset with the hire not only because he worked for the Fords, but because he has no football experience at all, coming entirely from the financial side.

The thing is, for the Detroit Lions as an organization, that’s a good thing.  It’s not sexy, and the average fan probably doesn’t notice or care, but the team has been hemorrhaging money. It got a lot of press back in 2013, but it was happening in 2012, and goes all the back to the start of the rebuild in 2009. National media often think of the Detroit Lions as a losing organization, but they tend to only refer to them as that on the field, but the truth off the field is actually worse.  On the field, the Detroit Lions have at least seen some success on the field, making the playoffs in 2011 and again in 2014.  Off the field, they’ve been losing since the Millen days, and haven’t recovered even a little bit.

Hiring Rod Wood probably won’t do much to impact the team on the field.  The general manager hiring is the more important of the two positions in terms of the actual football team since most of the decisions will come from there, but the Fords aren’t lying when they say they’re sick of losing.  They just aren’t referring solely to the team’s on field play.  Rod Wood is just the type of person a company hires when they need a financial turnaround and the good news for Lions fans is that winning as a football team tends to lead to more money for said team.  If the bottom line suffers because the team keeps losing, a market influenced president will be far less likely than a ‘football guy’ to show patience in the next staff.

Next: Notes on the New GM