Matt Millen is on the mend after a heart transplant, and it’s unsurprising that he’s doing some reflecting on his life. That life has been spent mostly in football, first finding success as a linebacker and then finding success as a broadcaster. And then he had a spectacular failure.
Millen was hired as president of the Lions, turned them into the worst team in the NFL, and was fired after an eight-year tenure that was one of the greatest debacles in NFL history. Millen told Jeremy Schaap on ESPN that he never should have taken the job.
“Knowing what I know now, no,” Millen said. “I really felt bad for the Detroit fans because I just couldn’t deliver.
Millen shakes his head as he thinks about all the personnel mistakes he made in Detroit.
“I don’t know what happened. Like, my brain was turned off. I look back and I’m like, ‘Why did I do that?’ It didn’t make any sense. But at the time it did,” he said.
Millen says he knew going in that he had an uphill task and even tried to warn Lions owner William Clay Ford.
“I told Mr. Ford when I took the job, I said, ‘Mr. Ford, I don’t know anything about this,'” Millen recalled. “Building a football team is different from running a football team, and it’s completely different from playing for a football team.”
Demonstrating just how different it was turned into a painful eight-year experience in Detroit. But Millen is now showing strength as he battles something tougher.