Former Titans G.M. Floyd Reese has a resume that features accomplishments like “led the team into salary cap purgatory” and “drafted the biggest hoodlum since Lawrence Phillips” and “insisted on Vince Young while ignoring that kid who played college football in Tennessee and who currently is ripping it up in Denver.”
 And he wants a chance to get back on the horse . . . and drive another franchise into the ground.
Reese is openly campaigning for the G.M. job in Detroit.
“If I had Williams Clay Ford’s number, you’d be hearing a dial tone right now,” Reese told the Detroit Free Press.  “I’m in a unique situation.  I’ve been in the league 32 years.  I could be in Detroit tomorrow.”
And, consequently, Reese presses his face against the rear end of the powers-that-be in Motown.  “One of the real uncut gems in the NFL is Detroit,” Reese said.  “It has a great owner.  He’s got a lot of money.  He wants to win very badly, and he’s not one of those guys that’s on the sidelines.  He just wants to find someone that can help him win.”
Amazingly, Reese has the nerve to criticize Matt Millen’s draft record in Detroit, in light of Reese’s own failures in late April.
“Take your pick,” Reese said regarding whether Joey Harrington, Charles Rogers, or Mike Williams are the worst of the three draft picks of the Millen era.  “It’s always the same.  When you draft a quarterback, there’s so much more to being a quarterback than just production.  You have to be a tough guy.  You have to have all the intangibles.  That’s why Tom Brady, a sixth-round pick who was too weak, too skinny, can be the MVP.  To be a quarterback takes so much more.  Sometimes you get too caught up in height, weight, speed.
“You had issues with each one.  You had issues with Joey’s toughness, leadership abilities. Mike Williams, you had problems.  He played the Rose Bowl and weighed 254 pounds.  In college, that’s fantastic.  In the NFL, that doesn’t cut it.  And with Charles, he had some issues; we all know that.”
Floyd — you drafted Vince Young instead of Jay Cutler.  Hello?  Toughness?  Young is about as tough as a raw hamburger.
And where Rogers had “issues,” Pacman Jones had “more red flags than a Soviet military parade.”
Reese was also less than complimentary regarding whether the Lions made the right move in elevating Martin Mayhew and Tom Lewand.  “I don’t know how many choices they had,” Reese said.
Well, Floyd, they could have hired you.  And they didn’t.  And we suspect they won’t.
That said, we’re convinced that the Lions screwed things up even in their effort to un-screw things up by firing Millen.  For more, check out our latest offering for SportingNews.com.
But we suppose they could have done worse.  They could have hired Floyd Reese.


  1. Reese has drafted talent in every overall draft. Not just from the first pick. Pacman is a great talent, just trouble off the field.
    I think he’d be fine in Detroit. They just need a new approach, and Reese would give them just that.
    Also, sorry Florio, but you really come off sounding like a mud slinger in this post. Ease up.

  2. PFT has had a long-standing distaste for Floyd Reese, and with good reason: after five years of poor drafting and cap mismanagement, Reese drove the Titans into the ground.
    That said, he also learned something from the process, and had a major hand in the getting the team turned around. Look at the current roster….it has Reese’s fingerprints all over it.
    Current starters acquired during Reese’s final two years:
    DE Kyle VandenBosch (FA)
    CB Cortland Finnegan (7th rd pick)
    S Chris Hope (FA)
    C Kevin Mawae (FA)
    LB David Thornton (FA)
    LT Michael Roos (2nd rd pick)
    RT David Stewart (5th rd pick)
    TE Bo Scaife (6th rd pick)
    OG Eugene Amano (6th rd pick)
    DT Tony Brown (FA)
    And this doesn’t even include guys like DE Antwan Odom, DE Travis LaBoy, or OG Jacob Bell, all of whom were solid starters for the Titans before taking big-money deals with other teams.
    All of these players have had a significant role in the Titans’ return to power….and all were acquired under Floyd Reese.
    If the Lions are looking for someone who can bring in the right guys and get things pointed in the right direction, they could do a lot worse.

  3. I read your whole SN article including the notes. You’ve got to be kidding about Rosenfels starting over Schaub. The Texans need to limit turnovers and Rosenfels’ career interception percentage places him somewhere between Billy Joe Hobert and Vince Evans. Great company.

  4. Reese is only a good GM if he has a coach that knows how to push his players and get the most out of them. He drafts a TON of project players. The Titans started to faulter b/c Reese got them into cap hell and they had to drop all their veterans. This forced the rookies onto the field before they were ready and they got complacent b/c Reese wouldn’t give up on them. They had a job and they knew it. First thing Fisher did, once Reese was gone, was to recreate the competition at every position. Best player starts. If its a tie or at least close then it goes to the vet which forces the younger guy to work harder and get better… and also creates the misconception that Fisher is overly partial to vets (Fowler over Tulloch this year) b/c a lot times to fans it seems obvious that a younger guy should start but they don’t see everything that the coaching staff sees.
    Its what he wanted to do w/ Vince too but Kerry was signed late and didn’t get a good chance to learn the playbook. Then VY was forced into the lineup at around 0-5 and the rest is history. Now they’re trying to make him force his way onto the field again. Make him get better to play. Make him earn it… that is if he’s a Titan.

  5. Pacman had more Red Flags
    than a Soviet Military Parade..?
    Hey Mr. Mike:
    I think you took that one apart pretty good.
    Like they say on the
    “Just For Men” Hair Color Commercials?
    “Floyd Reese?!? REEEEEEEEE-JECTED!!!!!!!”

  6. Sure Florio, drafting Young and Pacman says a lot about his judgement, but it also says a lot that, without those guys, they are the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Not that we’d expect both sides of an argument from you.

  7. It sounds like you want the job Mike, but I doubt you get a call. What is wrong with a guy making a play for an open job? He at least waited until Millen got fired to rip him. He put a pretty talented Titans team together. Don’t be a player hater just because you got no game.

  8. Plain fact of the matter is anybody is a better GM than Millen so a direct comparison is not hurting his cause. Reese has a much higher opinion of himself than he deserves but as a fan of another NFC North team, I sincerely hope the Lions hire him. What a clown.

  9. You fault Reese way too much here. He has a good record of recognizing talent – Even Pacman Jones was on his way to being a true shutdown corner before he decided to make it rain. The VY decision came from up top, although I do know that Reese wanted Young over the other two QBs too.

  10. When has Millen drafted an Eddie George, Steve McNair, Jevon Kearse, Keith Bulluck, or Albert Haynesworth?
    Sorry Florio, if you are basing your criticism on his selection of solely Vince Young, your argument doesn’t fly.

  11. Typical un-informed Florio. Floyd Reese is one of the top 5 talent evaluators in the league. The man can flat out build a roster and is a good judge of talent.
    He’s got a face for radio, that’s a given, but he would be the best GM the Lions have ever had. In three years, Reese would have Lions taking home the Central division title. Book it.

  12. i’m not sayin’ i know the deal – but i’m willing to BET that floyd had NO CHOICE in t the v.y. deal – the man who signs the checks is ALWAYS / ANYWHERE the guy who has the final say – i believe that if bud could’ve legally married vince in the U.S. he would’ve – but that’s just my wild speculation (not totally un-corroborated )…for what it’s worth…

  13. It’s wrong for Floyd Reese, as a member of the media, to criticize someone and then openly try to get the job. There are so many things wrong with that. You don’t need to go to the Society of Professional Journalists’ website to figure that one out.
    Where I do disagree with Florio is the job Reese did at Tennessee. I think overall he did a fine job.

  14. A lot of bad feelings toward Floyd Reese… jeez. I think it’s been mentioned in some of the previous comments but Reese is really not that bad of a GM. We all know that the draft is pretty much 50% scouting and 50% luck. Every GM has drafted a guy that didn’t pan out. For Pacman, he did have flags but the guy’s an obvious talent. Maybe they draft him and get him to get his act together, maybe they don’t. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out in Tennessee but now he’s cleaned up and is making Dallas look like geniuses. For Vince Young, you can’t say anything about him. For one, the guy’s a winner. He took a talentless Tennessee offense last year and made the playoffs. He definitely has some growing up to do that’s for sure. As for Cutler, only God could have predicted he’d be this good this year. He had the mechanics coming out of college but not nearly the record of Leinart and Young.

  15. To be fair, Jeff Fisher was the one who wanted to take the risk on Pacman and I’ve heard Floyd Reese wanted Jay Cutler. Fisher wanted Leinart, Adams wanted Young, and Reese wanted Cutler, but Adams said he would fire them if we didn’t get Vince Young.

  16. Florio, I’m curious, did you just start paying attention to NFL Football in 2005 with your Reese comments? I mean, you seem to forget all the success and only focus in on a few questionable decisions in a few years.
    In the 13 years he was GM there, the teams HE built were 106-102 and you can’t really blame him for a 2-14 campaign in his first year rebuilding an old team which brings down his record. Don’t forget they were 5-3 in the playoffs AND ALMOST WON A SUPER BOWL. Not to mention that the 13-6 and playoff appearance since were by a team largely built by Reese.
    Steve McNair
    Gary Walker
    Eddie George
    Jon Runyan
    Kenny Holmes
    Derrick Mason
    Kevin Dyson
    Samari Rolle
    Benji Olson
    Jevon Kearse
    Keith Bulluck
    Erron Kinney
    Robaire Smith
    Andre Dyson
    Justin McCareins
    Albert Haynesworth
    Justin Hartwig
    Carlos Hall
    Jacob Bell
    Michael Roos
    David Stewart
    Bo Scaife
    Lendale White
    Cortland Finnegan
    There are stars, important role players on good teams, multiple players STILL starting for them now, including their MOST VALUABLE PLAYER in Haynesworth, both tackles, their best LB, their best CB.
    He DRAFTED ALL OF THEM. Florio, where is your head?

  17. Oh, and I also want to state that no way would I want Reese to get hired as the Lions GM because that eliminates any chance of us getting Roy Williams. In case you haven’t heard, the Titans have been making a run at a few good receivers, including Torry Holt and Roy Williams.

  18. Florio quotes Mayhew:
    “Matt and I have different viewpoints on a lot of things about football, but I’m a Millen guy,” Mayhew said. “Yesterday was a different day for me. It was a sad day. It was a good day.”
    I’m a schizophrenic, and so am I.

  19. “Floyd Reese is one of the top 5 talent evaluators in the league.”
    It’s a wonder he remains unemployed.

  20. I think he did a pretty good job. I don’t know what went into making all his decision, but it sound like the owner could have a pretty heavy hand. Lots of talent on the roster and I agree they got into cap hell, but a steady coach and influx of young talent kept them from falling too far. But they are not, regardless of the current record, the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. It is waaaaaaaay to early to say that. They may be at the end of the season, but to say that after 3 weeks is just ignorant. They wouldn’t even have been a playoff team last year if the Brown hadn’t lost AND the Colts rolled over for them. Stars aligned last year. They have to earn it this year.

  21. 1. Matt Millen’s GM career dead (2001 – 2007)
    Matt Millen’s GM career died today at the ripe age of 8 years due to complications with success. Through the years Mr. Millen was best known for his terrible ability to evaluate talent, draft, trade…basically he lacked any of the qualities most teams look for in a GM. Also, Matt is best known for the ruination of the fabric of what made the Ford Motor Company so good. As one executive at Ford was quoted as saying “Well we figured if the Ford family could live with mediocrity with the GM of the football team then I doubt they’d care what we do over here” This quote proved to be prophetic.
    Though Mr. Millen had his detractors he definitely had his supporters
    “Well Matt came to us looking for a job as a caddie. Well you see that put up a logistical problem as we are a putt-putt course, but he had a spark in his eye and we figured ‘What the hell’ and gave him a chance. He never gave a memeber the wrong club in his three years with us…I swear to it.”
    Another supporter for Matt Millen was quoted as saying “You know Matt had a lot of talent, they guy could warm up a crowd with all his hot air. He had this ability to make you think he was doing more than he was actually doing…hell if that ain’t managment I don’t know what is.”
    Matt Millen’s GM career dead today. He is survived by 31 wins and 84 losses.

  22. Floyd was terrible at the salary cap but the man knows talent, you’re hurting your reputation by acting like he’s an idiot.
    That said, the Lions paid Millen $5 mil per. who WOULDN’T campaign for that job?
    I expect better out of you, Florio. Much, much better.

  23. The best person for the job of making Detroit respectable again is the Ron Jaworski. I don’t like his glasses either, but he knows football, and is not going to kiss anyone ass. The best thing to make Lions a laughing stock for 10 more years would be to hire Joe Theisman. Who by the way I think is one their short list. Dan Reeves anyone?

  24. Maybe Floyd can “steal” Herm Edwards away from KC and they can bury the Detroit franchise once and for all.

  25. Wow. that was a pretty ridiculous lambasting of Reese.
    Last I checked, his record as a talent evaluator seems pretty good. He was the GM when the Titans made it to the Super Bowl.
    He hired a pretty damn good coach in Jeff Fisher back in the day.
    I’ve heard all the rumors too that Reese wanted Cutler, but Adams demanded they take VY. That was part of the falling out that led to Reese leaving the team.
    The Lions have done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for 50 years. Reese would be the best GM the Lions have ever had after only 1 day on the job.
    As for the cap hell, not sure if that was all on Reese or not, but the Lions have a pretty good cap guy in Lewand (who Florio hates too btw).
    I love the PFT site, but man Florio, unsubstantiated lambasting doesn’t do much for your cred.

  26. mkuske what the hell are you talking about? rosenfels has more TDs than picks for his career and has only had more picks than TDs in one year, 2004, when he played in one game against balto. for them that like qb ratings, he is 82.0 for his career. schaub should be worried if he craps the bed one more time – rosenfels is more of a 1a player, not a 2nd stringer. not on that team.
    basically you must have been reading schaub’s td-pick #s and assumed they belonged to rosenfels.
    if the #s dont back you up, and they dont, dont lie.

  27. reese couldnt do worse than millen. altho i will agree… ford + lewand had a role in this debacle too.
    the lions need a gm/club pres who will stand his ground. and get the clearance he needs to drain the swamp.

  28. “Reese was horrible with the salary cap…..period ”
    Its not that he’s bad w/ the salary cap itself. Its his philosophy that’s flawed. He did exactly what he tried to do. He thought that w/ the then modern salary cap age, you had to spend your money and build a team to win while you could… push it off for as long as you could and then blow it up and try again. Its a flawed philosophy. You don’t have to do it that way and NE among other teams have proven that but Reese succeeded in doing what he wanted to do… Its just that he wanted to do was the wrong thing… It remains to be seen if he’ll adjust to what’s working or go w/ what he use to do.
    But for the people that say he “knows talent,” you obviously don’t watch the titans that closely b/c he’s had plenty of misses. Andre Woolfolk and Tyrone Calico being just 2 of them. Reese CONSISTENTLY drafted raw guys w/ tons of potential and when Fisher was able to get the best out of those players, it made Reese look great but later on when their cap situation forced them to cut their vets and those players were given spots instead of having to earn them, those raw players got complacent and the Titans faultered. Troupe stayed on the roster a LOT longer than he should have so did a lot of other players. Lamont Thompson anyone?

  29. Lewand told the local press: “But we’re two games out of first place, three games into the season, with 13 games to play.” So, remain calm, all is well…Mercy, if they don’t can those delusional idiots Mayhew and Lewand and the rest of that front office, it will be more of the same ‘ol, same ‘ol since 2001. Not that they have done much prior to the Millen era in my lifetime anyway.
    Who would have thought that we Lions’ fans born in the 70’s would look back on the days of Wayne “The Big Buck in the Field” Fontes as the good old days.

  30. While Reese may have been bad with the cap he does have a pretty good history of drafting good players. Yeah you blast him for 2 picks he made but forget about all the others over the years. Oh he drafted Vince Young who all of sudden doesn’t seem tough but he also drafted McNair who was probably one of the toughest QBs in the league. Meanwhile Millen can’t claim anything close to what Reese was able to do. Reese had a couple of questionable picks recently and problems with the cap. Just about every single one of Millen’s draft picks were terrible and never had any good players to wreck the cap with. Reese at least built a SB team meaning that at some point he’s had a winning club something that Millen never had.
    So yeah I guess Floyd would make the Lions worse. Nice logic there Florio. You want to try again. (I’m not a Titans fan and even I know this)

  31. “While Reese may have been bad with the cap he does have a pretty good history of drafting good players. Yeah you blast him for 2 picks he made but forget about all the others over the years. Oh he drafted Vince Young who all of sudden doesn’t seem tough but he also drafted McNair who was probably one of the toughest QBs in the league. Meanwhile Millen can’t claim anything close to what Reese was able to do. Reese had a couple of questionable picks recently and problems with the cap. Just about every single one of Millen’s draft picks were terrible and never had any good players to wreck the cap with. Reese at least built a SB team meaning that at some point he’s had a winning club something that Millen never had.
    So yeah I guess Floyd would make the Lions worse. Nice logic there Florio. You want to try again. (I’m not a Titans fan and even I know this) ”
    If the Lions had a very strong head coach that was very good at developing talent then Reese would be a good GM but they don’t.
    Reese had some picks that panned out early but he had a TON of misses that no one ever hears about. I only named 3 off the top of my head.

  32. If the Lions were actually serious about winning; they wouldve fired millen and hired parcells a long time ago.

  33. Florio how about doing some homework like SBO311 did for you. It’s well known that Bud had the final say in selecting VY not Floyd. Detroit could only be so lucky to have a guy like Floyd run their organization. A first class guy that actually knows how to run a draft. Go Titans!

  34. gentlemen,
    I must defend Reese because I due believe he would make a great gm for the Lions. Remember fans, the GM and the Coach work together. Reese luckily had Fisher to work with, and the relationship was great. Reese drafted the players Fisher wanted in his system and then handed them to the coach. You fans blast Reese for failed picks, but he gave Fisher what he wanted, Fisher failed to coach those players (The absolute only time I will ever bash Fisher).
    That being said, I understand the difference between Leinhart and Cutler between the coach and GM. A good gm will always offer a cheaper alternative and the word on Cutler was he could be had in the late first round. Reese probably wanted to trade down and get him, which would have been a mistake because the Broncos drafted him at 11. Still, I understand why he wanted to trade down, top 10 qbs are usually thrown to the wolves and fail, I wouldn’t want to draft a qb in the first ten picks either.
    The funny thing is, everyone points to the salary cap and says that was his fault, and yes it partially was. But fisher wanted his team to remain intact after the 1999 season, they were so close to winning, so Reese extends contracts and grabs a few players to make the team better on the off chance they might make it back the next year. Its called the window of opportunity and everyone in that organization wanted to win it soon, so Tenn goes 13-3 and to the AFC title game (they lose). So the team continues to extend and plan for that next year, this is consistent with the times since the Ravens, Green bay, Patriots (of the 1990s), had built teams around the window of opportunity. Thankfully, the current Patriots have dispelled that myth that a team needs to build and then raze when it ages, I hope most teams follow that example.
    If the Lions are smart enough to hire Reese, and they let him find a coach to work with that is capable, then in 3-4 years from now, the Lions could be a winning team. Reese would plan well in the long run, and since he can evaluate talent (more hits than misses), the Lions could compete again. I find it amazing that so many bash Reese as a problem, he was a GM till two years ago and he has taken time off to enjoy himself before getting back in the game. Hell, he could GM the 49ers after we fire Nolan/McCullough in a year if no one else wants him.

  35. Fisher had very little if any say in personel. Its what he fought for after Reese was fired. He had no say in who Reese kept and who was let go. Keeping the team together after ’99 was all Reese’s philosophy. He talked about it.
    You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  36. There were actually arguments b/c Reese wouldn’t release guys when they should’ve been released and Fisher wanted them gone.

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