Much-Maligned Lions President Matt Millen Is Sent Packing
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ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Matt Millen insisted he would stick with the tough job of turning the Detroit Lions into a winner instead of returning to the broadcast booth to make easy money.
So the Lions got rid of him.
The Lions fired Millen seven-plus years after the acclaimed TV analyst and Super Bowl-winning linebacker took over as team president for one of the NFL’s mediocre franchises and made it the worst.
“I have relieved Matt Millen of his duties effective immediately,” Lions owner William Clay Ford said in a statement yesterday afternoon.
Messages seeking comment were left on Millen’s cell phone.
Millen’s teams won a league-low 31 games since he took over in 2001, but his boss refused to get rid of him until now.
Bill Ford, son of the team owner, said Monday he would fire Millen if he had the authority.
Detroit was routed in each of its first three games this season, falling behind 21-0 twice and 21-3 once en route to lopsided losses going into its bye week.
“I am very disappointed with where we are as a team after our start this season,” Ford added in his statement. “Our sole focus now is preparing for our next game against Chicago.”
The 0-3 record dropped Millen to 31-84 overall, giving the Lions at least 10 more losses than any other NFL team since 2001, one of the worst stretches in league history. They gave up a league-high 25.3 points and ranked 30th with 18.3 points a game under Millen, according to STATS.
After winning just five games in his first two seasons, Millen bristled when a reporter told him some people were already predicting he would eventually walk away to get paid stress-free millions as a broadcaster again.
“Those people don’t know me that well,” Millen said in a 2003 interview with the Associated Press. “I can’t not finish something that I started. That bugs me. I’ve got to get this finished.
“This gray hair shows how much I care. Look at me. I look like Kris Kringle!”