The early 2000s were a hard time to be a Detroit Lions fan, even harder than usual. Matt Millen was hired in 2001 to carry the franchise back to the promised land and by 2008 he had amassed a 31-84 record. It was one of the most prolific examples of franchise mismanagement in the history of professional sports. And it was capped off with a 0-16 season.
After all this, it’s not difficult to understand why fans were less than thrilled that Millen’s successor was promoted from within. Martin Mayhew, a man who had worked under Millen for years was now in charge. While local radio hosts will still regularly field callers who want Mayhew’s head, it does seem as though he’s righted the ship.
Clearly, there have been some major missteps. The Ndamukong Suh re-signing was totally mishandled, and though his leaving for the Dolphins may actually help Detroit in the long run, it was not Mayhew’s finest hour. The fact there are no players remaining from the 2010 & 2011 draft classes is an embarrassment, and his lack of a Plan B behind Jahvid Best‘s concussions was an admitted blunder. But if the last few offseasons are any indication, Mayhew does seem to be learning, Suh aside. This may seem like cherry picking to some, but this team was in the playoffs last season and seems ready to stay competitive.
Here are ten times Martin Mayhew has proven himself an asset to the Detroit Lions.