Good Luck Martin Mayhew

Discussion in 'Detroit Lions' started by Chrisbob, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Chrisbob

    Chrisbob Fuck Dallas

    After firing Matt Millen as General Manager in mid-season the Lions handed the reigns on an interim basis to his deputy Martin Mayhew.

    In the mist of the firing of Head Coach Rod Marinelli it was also announced Mayhew had being given the GM role on a full time basis and it is now his task to drag the Lions from the bottom of the NFL barrel and get them competitive again.

    I for one am delighted for Mayhew. I recall him as a player for the Redskins (Nick Halling calls him the "old Buffalo defensive back" but whilst he was drafted by Buffalo he spent most of his nine year playing career with the Redskins and the Buccaneers) and that is where he first got to know Matt Millen as they were both on the roster when the Redskins won Super Bowl XXII.

    As already mentioned, the task facing Mayhew is a massive one but his playing career should have him well grounded for the mission. In college at FSU he teamed up at the starting corner positions with one Deion Sanders before becoming a 10th round pick for the Bills in 1988. He spent his first year on IR before being signed by the Redskins as a Plan B free agent. Injuries and loss of form by some veterans seen Mayhew move into the starting line and keep the spot until he left the team after the 1992 season to move as a free agent to the Buccaneers.

    As a Redskin he played opposite Hall Of Famer Darrell Green so he was always the guy opposing defense were going to challenge but he more than held his own. When he went on to the Buccaneers he experienced the opposite of his time in Washington with some tough seasons so he has experienced the ultimate highs and lows as a player.

    Whilst a player he continued his studies and after he retired he completed them before getting stints with the Redskins scouting department and the NFL Management Council to begin his executive career. A chance came to gain more experience with the short lived XFL where he dealt with player contracts and dealing with agents.

    The his ex-team mate Matt Millen came calling in Detroit and off he went to assist him. How much influence he has had over the decisions made in Millen's ill-fated reign are unclear but I dare say he feels they both could have done better. Obviously, I have no idea of his exact role as Millen's deputy but assuming it was delegated duties from Millen seems fair so I doubt any decisions came directly from Mayhew.

    It may have being a bit of a surprise then after going 0-16 that the Lions ownership opted to go with continuity rather than a brand new face with more experience but Mayhew got a chance to pull a masterstroke during his time as interim GM when he dealt wide receiver Roy Williams to the Cowboys for three picks including a 1st and a 3rd in the upcoming draft.

    Considering the Lions have spent so many high choices on receivers it means they at least get something back. Add in Williams would have being a free agent this coming off-season and demanded a high salary Mayhew comes out of that deal looking pretty smart.

    He now goes into the 2009 draft armed with five picks in the first three rounds and a chance to get some impact talent to go along with the few remaining bright spots such as Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith.

    His first issue to address is who to get as Head Coach. Steve Spagnuolo looks to be the early front runner although a minority candidate is required to be interviewed too but if Mayhew can get a guy who has produced one of the best pass rushing defenses of recent years that had a massive part in last seasons Super Bowl win (and may yet repeat the trick) then that looks a very clever hire.

    Add in the fact Spagnuolo gave Dan Snyder the knock back last off-season and it says something for how Mayhew can sell the job.

    Of course, the above is based on assumption but my feeling is Mayhew has come through the ranks of the league as a player and executive the hard way and has learned how to get the job done. He's played with some of the greatest players ever and also being a part of some of the worst teams of recent times so he knows what makes them subtle differences that can have a huge impact.

    As a former Redskin, I'll be rooting for him to do a good job, but if he starts drafting wide receivers year in and year out people will be asking Matt Millen if it was Martin Mayhew who held the gun to his head each time.