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.

46 responses to “Steve Mariucci: Lions just needed to listen to their scouts

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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!!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. “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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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?

  24. 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!!!!!

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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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