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Steve Mariucci: Lions just needed to listen to their scouts

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Former Lions coach Steve Mariucci took what seems like a shot at the man who hired him and fired him — Matt Millen — in explaining how Detroit’s football fortunes have finally turned around.

Mariucci didn’t rip Millen personally, but he did praise Millen’s successor atop the Lions’ front office, Martin Mayhew, for keeping many of the Lions’ scouts on the staff when he took over for Millen — and for following the advice of those scouts.

“There’s some good scouts there,” Mariucci said, per the Detroit Free Press. “I’ve been in a lot of draft rooms around the league, and the Detroit Lions have some good scouts and they just needed to be listened to. And so Martin Mayhew does that. He takes their evaluations and their opinions to heart, as he does with the coaches, and he makes an executive decision based on a lot of information. And that’s where he really excels.”

That sure sounds like Mariucci is suggesting that Millen, who had final say in the Lions’ draft room from 2001 to 2008, didn’t listen to the scouts on high-profile failed picks like Charles Rogers, Joey Harrington and Mike Williams. But Mariucci, perhaps wishing to avoid the scent of sour grapes after Millen fired him in 2005, tiptoed away from criticizing Millen and instead focused on praising Mayhew.

“His approach has been successful so far, so let’s just leave it at that,” Mariucci said of Mayhew. “He’s done a nice job.”

It’s been a long time since anyone has been able to say that about the Lions’ front office.

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46 Responses to “Steve Mariucci: Lions just needed to listen to their scouts”
  1. dclogicatlast says: Sep 21, 2011 3:20 PM

    Millen is a savant. Savants do not listen to scouts. Scouts can suck it.

  2. jimmysimpson55 says: Sep 21, 2011 3:20 PM

    I will take Mooch over Millen all day long.

  3. jaggedmark says: Sep 21, 2011 3:21 PM

    Exactly right. Millen never listened to anyone except Matt Millen. Martin Mayhew is the exact opposite, and better on every level than Millen was.

  4. cakemixa says: Sep 21, 2011 3:21 PM

    The Detriot Lions WILL win the Super Bowl this year. Book it.

  5. im4cincy says: Sep 21, 2011 3:23 PM

    I refuse to watch any show featuring Matt Millen as an analyst, announcer, or portraying him as some sort of knowledgeable NFL fan.

    It’s a shame his playing career is for less infamous than his time as a horrendous GM.

  6. brutus9448 says: Sep 21, 2011 3:24 PM

    can the lions win more than 2 games before we give them the super bowl trophy.

  7. parasonic says: Sep 21, 2011 3:25 PM

    If Stafford and Best stay healthy, they get Fairley in the mix before the end of the year, and they have one more solid draft class they will be dangerous for quite awhile. And don’t forget Leshore will be back next year too.

  8. draftking says: Sep 21, 2011 3:26 PM

    I can’t take any of Matt Millen’s analysis on TV seriously. His analytical skills are highly questionable. Particularly during college games, when he talks about what a given player needs to make it to the next level (the NFL), I find his thought process especially laughable.

  9. pigskinswag says: Sep 21, 2011 3:27 PM

    I wonder how Mariucci feels about Jerry Angelo, who has become Matt Millen 2.0

  10. mattsffrd says: Sep 21, 2011 3:27 PM

    Millen is probably the worst thing that has happened to any team in the history of the league. I have to laugh when I see him on TV talking about what decisions a team should make.

  11. linvillegorge says: Sep 21, 2011 3:28 PM

    All you have to do is listen to Millen’s commentary to wonder how in the hell he ever got an NFL GM gig to begin with.

  12. westnorthcoast says: Sep 21, 2011 3:29 PM

    Why not blame Ford for allowing Millen to do so much damage for 8 years when it was obvious he was not capable of doing the job?

    I wish Mariucci would be more open about criticism of Millen like Rodney Harrison calls out people.

  13. jdmp86 says: Sep 21, 2011 3:33 PM

    This isn’t really new news, us Lions fans painfully know too well that Millen didn’t listen to anyone, except maybe Mel Kiper. When Colbert was incharge of personnel in the 90s they scouted pretty well. We all know Mayhew was in the building with Millen and his good drafts the last few years are the last bit of proof anyone needs to see Millen was a moron who didn’t listen to anybody but the voices in his head.

  14. Vegas Guy says: Sep 21, 2011 3:35 PM

    Matt Millen was probably the worst (and most inexplicable – did he have photos on someone?) thing to ever happen to the Lions.

    Sadly the Bengals would take him over Mike Brown.

    Of course, Mike Brown would probably draft him and put him on the field.

  15. nflsucker says: Sep 21, 2011 3:37 PM

    “I’m not offended when he praises Mayhew at all. Mayhew is 100% man!”

    M. Millen

  16. hatesycophants says: Sep 21, 2011 3:38 PM

    So, Mooch takes the high road, but Smiff takes the douche road? Excellent.

    Go Lions! Go Badgers!

  17. anonimocontraditorio says: Sep 21, 2011 3:41 PM

    Millen was one of the biggest mistakes of the history considering all franchises…

  18. billsfan1 says: Sep 21, 2011 3:43 PM

    Id agree…they have always had high draft picks but now r using them wisely. I was curious about stafford and what he could accomplish being healthy…so far so good…the lions fans should feel good

  19. trickbunny says: Sep 21, 2011 3:44 PM

    It’s been two games. Against two awful teams.

    Super Bowl!!!!

  20. ajknox88 says: Sep 21, 2011 3:44 PM

    Mooch always looked like he was almost in tears on the sidelines. Now we know why… they didn’t listen to their scouts. lol

  21. severs28 says: Sep 21, 2011 3:47 PM

    3 1/2 years ago every single Lions fan was clamoring for Scott Pioli and couldn’t believe that Mayhew (a Millen disciple) was promoted.

    Fast forward to today and it looks like the best decision WCF has ever made.

  22. themanchine says: Sep 21, 2011 3:47 PM

    Six years later it’s still the same exact scouting staff? No changes whatsoever? Hmmmmmm

  23. rccola39 says: Sep 21, 2011 3:50 PM

    Yes Millen is an ignorant bone head.. Im going to the Bears Lions MNF football game. i wish he was still working for espn on mnf to get the fire millen chant goin when hes on the field after the game but ahh oh well hes gone now. Moving forward!!

  24. motorcitydiddy says: Sep 21, 2011 3:52 PM

    Millen was awful and everyone knows it. Whether or not Mariucci sees the forest through the trees is irrelevent but it does question how effective an analyist he can be if he refuses to call out those that deserve it.

  25. quiettexan says: Sep 21, 2011 3:52 PM

    this isn’t really a suprising story…did it really look like the people who understand talent were making those picks?

  26. dasportsninja says: Sep 21, 2011 3:54 PM

    So Ucci praises the GM for a job well done, and somehow you derive that he was sending barbs MAtt Millen’s way? I doubt this was a passive aggressive means of poking Millen. The Lions are 2-0 and people want to know how Steve thinks they got there, and I think he gave an honest answer.

  27. dukemarc says: Sep 21, 2011 3:54 PM

    Matt Millen shouldn’t be allowed back in the state of Michigan.

  28. kalispellmt says: Sep 21, 2011 3:55 PM

    No, they just needed to come in last enough times to get all those picks.

  29. motorcitykitties says: Sep 21, 2011 3:55 PM

    The squirrels under my porch know that Millen is an idiot. We don’t need Mooch to confirm this but thanks.

  30. favreforever says: Sep 21, 2011 4:05 PM

    “I told you Kemo Sabe, Charles Rogers him heap big trouble…”.

  31. ka14hof says: Sep 21, 2011 4:06 PM

    cakemixa says:
    Sep 21, 2011 3:21 PM
    The Detriot Lions WILL win the Super Bowl this year. Book it.

    I like the confidence >>>>>>>

  32. adstout says: Sep 21, 2011 4:10 PM

    Maybe Mike Brown (Bengals) will get a clue.

    Hard for him to listen to scouts and GM when they employ the least amount of scouts and they don’t have a GM. 20 years without a playoff win = a horrible owner. But as long as the NFL keeps raking it in and Mike Brown shares in the success of other teams he’ll keep making profits.

  33. aceboogie57 says: Sep 21, 2011 4:13 PM

    How Matt Millen still has a job is a mystery. Can’t stand seeing him on TV as a commentator, I usually mute the sound or turn. Where is Keith Jackson when you need him?

  34. m2karateman says: Sep 21, 2011 4:15 PM

    dclogicatlast says:
    Sep 21, 2011 3:20 PM
    Millen is a savant. Savants do not listen to scouts. Scouts can suck it.

    Matt Millen is an idiot savant……..without the savant part included.

  35. sws222 says: Sep 21, 2011 4:35 PM

    Was that last line really necessary, Smith?

    “It’s been a long time since anyone has been able to say that about the Lions’ front office.”

    Or just a habit you can’t break? The story was just fine without your signature snarky remark. I will give you this, though….at least this time you kept it to one.

  36. westnorthcoast says: Sep 21, 2011 4:39 PM

    “I know a slow WR we can draft in the top 10 who we can pay millions of dollars with little expectations in return. Oh wait, I will find one again next year if we need to.”

    “Damn SF and Donohue for drafting Rashaun Woods in the 1st round. I was going to take him with the 2nd round pick.”

    “Hey, Joe Harrington will be a HOF by the end of his career. Mark my words.”

    – Matt Millen

  37. staffordsyear says: Sep 21, 2011 4:44 PM

    Good for you mooch,millen ran the lions right over a cliff and didn’t even seem to care..I wish more people would speak out against this Donkey.

  38. gf2711 says: Sep 21, 2011 4:45 PM

    It’s not difficult to draft when you have a top 5 pick every year, that is unless you use them on WR’s annually…

  39. descendency says: Sep 21, 2011 4:52 PM

    This is a serious case of hindsight.

    You should listen to the scouts when they are right and you should know better when they are wrong.

    There is a reason why Mooch isn’t in the NFL anymore. He didn’t know either.

  40. phil325 says: Sep 21, 2011 4:55 PM

    Mooch didn’t say anything about the fact that he tried to take a decent downfield college QB (Harrington) and tried to turn him into a short pass west coast QB because he couldn’t coach anything else. He couldn’t coach any other system. How many teams called him after the Lions? Zero. Thank God for the NFL network, right Mooch?

  41. firejerry says: Sep 21, 2011 5:44 PM

    Millen was a bad GM and fleeced Mr. Flord out of millions of $$$$$$$$.

    Mooch was a bad coach who weakly coached 1 bad year……then sat on ass and collected the rest of his contract……he should thank Millen

    Lastly—- I agree Jerry Angelo is Milllen 2.0!!!!!

  42. abengalfan says: Sep 21, 2011 6:32 PM

    What’s a scout?
    Don’t see those ’round these parts.

  43. firejerry says: Sep 21, 2011 8:14 PM

    I will book it that the Lions will not be in the Superbowl.

  44. bigboi30 says: Sep 21, 2011 9:29 PM

    Give it up haters. Yes it has been 2 games this year. Lets remember though the Lions are riding a 6 game win streak (10-0 if u count preseason). So go away and accept that the Roar has been restored.

  45. mystereo says: Sep 21, 2011 10:29 PM

    Mayhew has done well in the draft but he also made a gutsy call hiring Schwartz instead of a retread. I only wish he could’ve hired Wade Phillips as DC.

  46. korikill says: Sep 22, 2011 4:39 AM

    Vegas Guy says:
    Sep 21, 2011 3:35 PM
    Matt Millen was probably the worst (and most inexplicable – did he have photos on someone?) thing to ever happen to the Lions.
    I lol’d. Thanks!

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