It is an undesirable situation any way you look at it.
The Detroit Lions putrid start has been disturbing and downright embarrassing.
As always, disappointed fans have called for the organization to clean house. I have heard and read fans and the media alike say quarterback Matthew Stafford should be let go. Others have said second-year coach Jim Caldwell and general manager Martin Mayhew should be fired.
All are bad options.
I understand that the popular opinion whenever things are not going the way a person would like is to throw their hands up and give up. But completely cleaning house after the best season the franchise has had in two decades would not be prudent.
The same people who say Matthew Stafford should be let go somehow don’t realize that every NFL quarterback would struggle behind an injury plagued and underachieving offensive line. How many quarterbacks have success without a running game?
Stafford would be extremely highly sought after if Detroit ever decided to cut the best quarterback the franchise has had in decades. Stafford entered the season on a career projection that even exceeded that of Tom Brady and Drew Brees. He has reached several milestones that no quarterback his age has ever accomplished.
And he has done so without an above average offensive line or running game. As for Caldwell, it is more than apparent the honeymoon stage has come to an end. Most second year coaches coming off an 11-5 season will get a pass. But not in Detroit. Fans are calling for his head and a complete rebuilding job when the Lions still have the ability to go on a win streak this year.
As for Mayhew, most forget that he was tasked in rebuilding the worst team in the history of professional sports and have led the Lions to a pair of playoff appearances after the team failed to qualify for the postseason in any season under Matt Millen.
The Lions don’t need a major shakeup or another rebuilding project. They need a patient fan base that won’t get down on the team and begin raining down boos on the first possession of the game.
Fans are fickle, I get it. Maybe that is why they are called fanatics. Many Lions fans didn’t enjoy the 11-5 season, so of course they will bemoan five consecutive losses. But they should be careful what they wish for. A couple years ago, fans wanted the Lions to part with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, now they would beg to have him back.
There are countless players that fans ridiculed that went on to have wildly successful careers. If anything, the Lions need to exercise patience at least until the end of the season.
A major rebuilding job in management and on the field would simply ensure a longer process that would not even guarantee a successful turnaround.
Why not instead continue to build with the same main components that led Detroit to its second best season in the history of the franchise. It might not be easy to stomach but patience should be shown instead of blowing up the entire organization.
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.