Matt Millen: Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t take the Lions job

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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.

28 responses to “Matt Millen: Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t take the Lions job

  1. We are the worst franchise in the history of the NFC, easily in the top 3 of all time in the entire league. Matt Millen is a smart man and got tarnished and ruined by the Lions organization. Six decades of utter failure and disappointment does mean it’s all his fault.

  2. We’re used to it Matt, we still love the Ford family no matter how much we lose! Not winning is the Lions way!

  3. Refreshing to see he took responsibility for his actions and held himself accountable (albeit after the fact). We need more of this!

  4. It’s mind blowing how before he was there they were always a middle of the pack franchise and after he was there they been looked down upon as a bottom 3 franchise he plan ruined them

  5. We need more Matt Millen’s in the world that can look in the mirror and own up to their mistakes.

  6. His personnel decisions were among the worst made in the history of the NFL. But at least the Lions finally got rid of him, the Vikings, on the other hand, are holding fast with Spielman whose football IQ is the same as his shoe size.

  7. Let’s be honest, if the Lions knew what they know now, they wouldn’t have hired Matt Millen. He didn’t have an eye for talent and he did a terrible job. Had he hit on those drafts, they could have been a good team.

  8. Well, he went to work for a FORD and he found out hed have to Fix or Repair Daily.

  9. MM was one of many in a long line of idiots whose arrogance and unfounded self assurance made them think they can turn this debacle of a professional sports franchise around. Luckily, the Fords have a plan in place to make sure their incompetent family holds the reins and steers us into one iceberg after another. Goes to show you how lucky Ford vehicle owners are that there are multiple levels of people between the Ford family and the vehicles so many people buy from them, if FOMOCO was more like the Lions orginization their cars and trucks would stop running, catch fire, roll over pulling off the dealer lot.

  10. And they gave him a second contract after proving he did not know what he was doing . Amazing ! This is a big year for current gm quinn , another down year and he could be gone. And they start all over again.

  11. He had no player personnel experience whatsoever. He told Ford when he was hired that he didn’t know what he was doing. Ford renewed his contract and kept him in place for eight years even though it was obvious he wasn’t up to the job.

    Why does everyone keep saying “if the Lions knew then what they know now, they wouldn’t have hired him”? The Lions did know then.

  12. Before you hate, remember we have one playoff win in 62 YEARS and 0-16 season in the books... says:

    dirt2018 says:
    March 3, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Detroit Lions are the new Browns.


    The Lions aren’t the “new” Browns, they’re the Browns of the NFC. They have been equally terrible if not worse than the Browns since the late 1950’s. Coincidentally around the same time the Dems hijacked hate party of America took over the elections and ruined Detroit!

  13. Ford is one of the worst American car companys in the country. American cars in general are lower grade quality and far less dependable than the Japanese and German manufacturers. I can see how a person from Detroit would defend their pride and joy of a dem0cratic disaster like the motor city. Ford hasn’t been good since the start of the Vietnam War and neither have the Lions.

  14. “A man’s got to know his limitations”, Clint Eastwood
    “Huh?”, Matt Millen

  15. On the bright side, at least he knew how to do one thing….fire the coach and blame him for the Lions sucking.

  16. source7769 says:
    March 3, 2019 at 10:18 am

    It’s mind blowing how before he was there they were always a middle of the pack franchise and after he was there they been looked down upon as a bottom 3 franchise he plan ruined them


    It’s mind blowing that someone actually said a franchise that has one playoff win in six decades was considered “middle of the pack” and actually believes that, let alone says it. The Lions have been horrible for decades and never show signs of being respectable nor competitive.

  17. The Lions had been a proud franchise that won three world championships in the the 50s with Bobby Layne at QB.
    When the Ford family purchased the team in 1964, the Lions slowly started to decline as a franchise and has never been able to find a QB or build a team that could adjust to playing and winning, in an indoor, turf stadium enviroment.
    I realize that paying fans want to watch their football in comfort but maybe if Detroit could play in an outdoor stadium and build a tough nosed team, that could adjust to cold weather elements, they could recapture the glory of the past but the game itself will never recapture that forgotten time, or its simplicity.

  18. What employer says hey you don’t know what your doing, no problem here’s a 7 figure salary. Then again what guy interviewing for a job tells his potential new boss he doesn’t know what hes doing?

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