Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I wish I could quit them

I know. I should be writing about the Pistons. If the Lions are the lump of coal in our holiday sports stocking, the Pistons are the surprise iPod. After wins over Memphis (who looked really good; they should be a contender in the Western Conference) and Portland (Who took a worse job? Nate McMillan or Larry Brown?) this week, Detroit already has 20 wins. And it's not even Christmas yet. Chauncey Billups looks like a MVP candidate. The Eastern Conference standings seem ridiculously lopsided. But it's still early, isn't it? 59 more games to go.

And I'll enjoy every one of them once this football season is over. But for right now, the Lions are like the cold I can't shake.

Yesterday, Dick Jauron joined the rest of us in the reality room and named my brother in new beard-dom, Joey Harrington, the starting quarterback for this Saturday's game vs. the Saints. (I've been informed by my Joey-loving sister that Joey had a beard at the beginning of the season. Thanks for the info, Lil' Sis.) What, it took you three games to figure out that Jeff Garcia wasn't going to get it done for you, Dick?

(Photo by Julian H. Gonzalez/
Detroit Free Press)

Not only is Garcia not starting, he's been demoted to third-string. If Joey can't get it done, it'll be Orlovsky time in San Antonio.

Apparently, there is no truth to the rumors (started by me, just now) that Jauron came to his decision after watching Garcia participate in a snowball fight with his fellow players outside the Allen Park practice facility. His snowballs either hit the ground at his teammates' feet or hung in the air so long that they had plenty of time to get out of the way. I also can't confirm that the mysterious snowball that hit Dre' Bly squarely in the back of the helmet was thrown by one Joseph Harrington from 30 yards away. Hey, Joey's not that accurate.

What the hell is this coaching staff doing? Jauron should've done this when he was named interim head coach, back when it was clearly the right move. Now, with only two games left, what's really the point? These guys seem to have no idea what they're doing. Is the idea to win games or to evaluate players for next season? There have to be dents all over the walls of Matt Millen's office from constantly banging his head.

In between head bangs, however, I hope Millen's looking for his next head coach. In Sunday's Washington Post, Mike Wise wrote what could be a primer for Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, someone I would hope Millen's interested in interviewing.

Here's Wise on Williams's coaching style. Does this sound like someone the Lions could use?

Williams doesn't just rub some people the wrong way; he can chafe until the skin is raw. Players. Media. Doesn't matter.

Williams henpecks his players. He rides them when they play well. He rides them when they smell like fermented beans. Some hard-nosed football coaches conceal their ornery side; Williams embraces it.

"Oh, you should have seen me all this week," he said after Washington emasculated the Cowboys, 35-7. "I was giving it to them every day. 'You... don't get it right, I'll cut your asses right here. I was so hard, I just had to ease up a little."

How would Gregg Williams handle Roy Williams dropping an easy pass? Or Charles Rogers lazily lollygagging through practice? What would he think of Dre' Bly ripping his teammates in the press? Is that the type of approach that would shake this team out of its apathy?

On the other hand, maybe he wouldn't get along too well with Millen.

Yes, he'll occasionally give you that sideways look, the one that says, "You can't possibly tell me something about the human condition or this game that I don't already know." Around the practice facility in Ashburn, a person covering the team summed up Williams's arrogance this way: "If you don't know the second 'g' in Gregg's name stands for genius, just ask him. He'll tell you."

Uh-oh. Disagreement between GM and Head Coach over how to build a winning football team is what caused this mess. But if Williams and Millen share similar philosophies (and I think we're still trying to figure out exactly what Millen's is), personalities should be checked at the door. Millen and his next coach might butt heads over personnel matters, staffing issues, or offensive and defensive schemes - just like he did with Steve Mariucci. But if Millen does his homework this time, and knows what kind of guy he's hiring, they should be able to work together constructively, even if they don't always agree. Is Gregg Williams the right guy for that?

Unfortunately, Mike Wise doesn't mention the Lions in his article. He mentions the Chiefs, Rams, and Texans as preferred destinations for Williams. And maybe an offensive guy, like Mike Martz or Cincinnati's Bob Bratkowski, would be a better choice. But Millen has to at least make a phone call to Williams. His first try at head coaching in Buffalo didn't work out. However, some coaches - like Bill Belichick and Mike Shanahan - get it right the second time. Millen needs to get this right on his third try, and make sure Williams isn't another Norv Turner.


  • At December 22, 2005 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I hope, hope, HOPE it's not Williams. He's already shown what he can do in Buffalo with an arguably better roster - it wasn't pretty.

  • At December 24, 2005 4:04 PM, Anonymous Tim said…

    Jeff Garcia is a joke.
    hey man, i really like your blog, if you are interested in a link exchange email me at timmoore2@gmail.com

    check out my blog http://lasportsconnection.blogmaker.com


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