Ford: Lewand, Mayhew will stay with Lions
by Tom Kowalski
Sunday December 21, 2008, 3:30 PM
AP File Photo
Tom Lewand, Detroit Lions executive vice president and chief operating officer, walks the sidelines during Detroit's' game against Green Bay Packers earlier this season. Lions owner William Clay Ford said he wants both Martin Mayhew and Lewand to stay with the Lions next season.DETROIT -- Despite the possibility that his team could finish 0-16 this season, Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford made it clear that there will not be a complete house-cleaning in the offseason.
Prior to Sunday's Lions-Saints game, Ford said that he will hire another person to join the team's football operations but that person might not fill the typical general manager role. Ford said the new hire might not have total control over all personnel matters and that those decisions could be done by committee.
"It depends. I don't know about the odds (of hiring a GM with total authority),'' Ford said. "Let's see who's available and what experience they have and see if they fit in any of our slots.''
Ford said that regardless of who he hires, he also wants both Martin Mayhew and Tom Lewand to stay with the organization -- possibly in the positions they currently hold.
"I don't want to delineate positions to exactly where 'This is you' and "This is me.' I want to leave some latitude,'' Ford said. "When we get a good person, I want Martin in on that, I want his opinion.''
Ford said the team would begin to interview candidates at the end of the regular season and the process will involve a three-man panel.
"Lewand, Martin and me,'' said Ford, adding he wanted to have some decisions made within three weeks after the end of the season.
When asked if vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. will be involved in the offseason decisions, Ford Sr. said, "I don't know, I think he's got a plate-full right now. It depends on what his availability is.''
Mayhew, who had held the title of assistant general manager, took over as general manager in late September after president Matt Millen was fired. Mayhew has reported directly to Ford since that time.
When asked if he was happy with the job Mayhew has done so far, Ford said, "Oh yeah, very.''
Ford also said that if the Lions decide to go with a general manager who holds total authority over all football decisions, Mayhew will be among the candidates.
If Ford goes that route and Mayhew doesn't get the job, Ford said he still wants Mayhew to stay with the Lions organization.
Lewand is expected to continue in his capacity as the team's chief operating officer and run the team's day-to-day business activities and also have authority over all Ford Field operations.
Ford said he's "talked to some people'' and that the team is still putting together a list of candidates to be interviewed. Ford said he doesn't believe there is one "football genius'' out there who can come in and make all the right decisions independently.
"No. If there is, I haven't met him yet,'' Ford said.
As for coach Rod Marinelli and his job status, Ford said he hasn't made any decisions yet.
"I don't know, I haven't made up my mind. I'm leaving it open,'' Ford said.
When asked about Marinelli's 0-14 record -- and Detroit's losses in 21 of the previous 22 games (prior to Sunday's result) -- Ford repeated: "No, I'm keeping it open.''
If there is a change at head coach, Ford said he doesn't know yet who might spearhead that search, himself or the new GM.
"Both of those (head coach and GM) positions now are a little nebulous so it's hard for me to say the GM will do it or I'll do it because I don't know who's going to fit in what slot,'' said Ford, adding that his goal is to make the right choices that will put the Lions on a winning path.
"I hope when this whole process is over with that we've got an organization that can build a winning team,'' Ford said. "The fans have been great and they deserve winners. We're all frustrated. We want to win, too. I hope this is the end product.''
This story says it all,nice try Browns/bungals/Rams.....
The Lions are King of the Jungle in Losers.