The Detroit Lions front office is going to look very different next season, as team owner Martha Ford has decided to relieve Martin Mayhew and Tom Lewand of their duties with the franchise, according to reports from NFL.com.
Martin Mayhew has been with the Lions organization since 2001. By 2004, he was promoted to be the assistant general manager to Matt Millen. When Millen was fired in 2008, Mayhew was the obvious choice to take over as the general manager in Detroit.
When the Lions went without a single victory in 2008, Detroit knew that heads were going to roll. When all was said and done, Tom Lewand was promoted to the head of the organization. He was promoted to team president and tasked with rebuilding the team.
Both Mayhew and Lewand have had their shares of mistakes over the years.
Jahvid Best, Titus Young, Mike Leshoure, Ryan Broyles, and Bill Bentley are names that Lions fans are familiar with. At some point in time, all were heavily hyped NFL prospects who were supposed to help turn things around in Detroit. None worked out quite as Mayhew and Lewand had hoped.
Mayhew and Lewand were both fired today.
The Detroit Lions front office will now be ran by two other faces in the organization on an interim basis. Sheldon White goes from vice president of pro personnel to general manager. Allison Maki has been elevated to chief operating officer. Both will report directly to Ford herself.
These moves were a necessary evil. When your team is sitting on a 1-7 record in the NFL, fans are going to start losing faith and interesting. The Lions needed to show them that the franchise was still committed to having a competitive team in Detroit. Ford made sure to specifically mention that during her announcement today.
A week ago, the team tried to send a message to the fans by making a major change on the offensive side of things, which was supposed to have been a strength for the Lions. They fired Joe Lombardi and replaced him with Jim Bob Cooter as the offensive coordinator. That was not enough for the fans. They wanted to see more of a commitment from the Lions.
While Ford has been complimentary of Caldwell, there are no guarantees that he will be kept around. The next team president and general manager might have someone they want to hand pick. Unless it is someone that is already connected to Caldwell, we will more than likely be seeing a different face on the Lions sideline next season.
Sometimes in the NFL, the best thing to do when things are not going well is to blow everything up and start fresh. After going through that process for several decades now, Lions fans are hoping that this will be the rebuild that will finally get them to the Super Bowl.
[ Feature Photo by Duane Burleson / Getty Images ]