Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford isn’t going anywhere, yet …
By Robert Jones
Sheila Ford Hamp has to believe the Lions can do better
As the media continues to march resolutely to the conclusion that Sheila Ford Hamp will fire Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia at the end of the season, it also leads to talk about Matthew Stafford’s future in the Motor City.
In most NFL cities a new regime and rebuilding would mean that the veteran quarterback is sent packing, but there are many factors in play with the Detroit Lions that are not in play elsewhere.
For a franchise that has been so bad for so long, the idea that they can do better than Matthew Stafford is a foreign thought. Not that having Matthew is a bad thing, but the inability of the Ford family to think ‘bigger’, regardless of whether we’re talking about coaching, the general manager, or players is one of the main reasons that the Detroit Lions have been losers for so long.
Unlike other NFL owners that see their team playing poorly and understand that they can do better, the Ford family has generally failed to do so.
They fail to understand that believing they can be better is how teams get better, instead of settling for what they already have on the field. The San Francisco 49ers made the difficult decision to trade away Joe Montana and turn the team over to Steve Young.
Unfortunately for Young and the 49ers they ran into the buzz-saw of Jimmie Johnson’s Dallas Cowboys who kept them from having the same success under Young that they had with Montana, but they were still legitimate contenders each year and did eventually win the Super Bowl with Young.
The point is ownership has to be willing to believe that they can do better and be willing to believe what they see. For three seasons Matt Patricia, the defensive guru and rocket scientist, has not been able to build a competitive, much less dominant, defense for the Lions.
If he cannot succeed at his specialty, then how can we expect him to make the Lions contenders?
When Bob Quinn fired Jim Caldwell saying that 9-7 wasn’t good enough, he was absolutely right. He dared to dream that the Lions could be something more. He dared to dream that this franchise could be true contenders.
While the Lions have struggled under Quinn and Patricia, the basic concept that the Lions can do better and be contenders was right. But it does involve stepping outside of the comfort zone the Ford family has lived within for the last 60 years and getting a dynamic general manager who is allowed to hire a dynamic head coach and make some moves that might be very uncomfortable for the Ford family.