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Patrick Willis responds to Matt Millen criticism: Who is this guy?

In addition to being a well-known ESPN analyst, Matt Millen is also a former NFL player. As a two-time All Pro and four-time Super Bowl champion linebacker, Millen knows a little something about playing the position Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman play. During an interview with 95.7 The Game in San Francisco on Monday, Millen said Willis and Bowman had the worst game he’s ever seen them play on Sunday against the Giants. This did not sit well with Willis.

Willis joined the same station later in the day and brushed off Millen’s comments by basically ignoring the fact that he was once a player.

“Whoever this Matt Millen guy is, I’d like to ask him if he could do what we do every day and do what we do for 16 games a year and see if he can hold up every game,” Willis said according to Sports Radio Interviews. “I doubt he would. I doubt he would be able to consistently play at a high level as Bowman and I do. I really don’t care about what this guy has to say.”

I’m no big-time Millen fan, but I’d say you have to play at a pretty high level consistently to be a part of four Super Bowl teams. Willis also ripped Millen for being so hard on the Niners after one bad game, which is more fair than accusing him of not knowing what life in the NFL is like.

Millen may have a poor reputation as an analyst and former general manager of the Lions, but it seemed like Willis legitimately didn’t know he used to play. That’s pretty surprising coming from a player who plays the same position he did.

Helmet know to Pro Football Talk

Matt Millen Thinks LSU Quarterback Jarrett Lee Plays for Miami

We have a category here at LBS we like to call “screw ups,” and it’s a place we file anything from headline mistakes to broadcasting blunders. As you could imagine, it’s a category no publisher or broadcaster ever wants to find himself in. But Former Lions GM Matt Millen is such a walking disaster the guy could probably fill up his own category. The man who embarrassingly called Rod Marinelli (the head coach for Detroit’s 0-16 season) one of the best coaches he’s been around, put his lack of college football knowledge on display Tuesday when discussing Miami’s season-opening game against Maryland. Millen was asked who he thought would play quarterback for the Canes, and he mentioned Jarrett Lee. Yeah, the same Jarrett Lee who plays for LSU. What?!?! The video is mind-boggling:

How can a man who will be broadcasting a nationally televised game Monday not even know the starting quarterbacks on the roster? Better yet, how does this fool continue to get high profile jobs? It makes you wonder who’s more clueless: Millen, for his lack of preparation; or the people who keep hiring him.

It’s truly befuddling to see this guy actually touted as a credible expert. Where’s NBC Detroit to set the record straight when you need them?

Good catch by Timothy Burke at Sports Grid

Matt Millen Calls Rod Marinelli ‘One of the Best Coaches I Have Ever Been Around’

One of the biggest mysteries in the sports media world is how Matt Millen continues to get prime broadcasting jobs. Millen is the worst GM in the history of the NFL, having presided over the only 0-16 season in league history. The Detroit Lions went a pathetic 34-81 under his watch, absolutely destroying his credibility. Even if he’s smooth on air, how can anyone buy into what he says? It’s already been proven that his opinion is meaningless.

Maybe we’d leave the guy alone because we all know his opinion doesn’t mean squat, but when he has to insult our intelligence he’s asking for our fury. For instance, if you’re Matt Millen, interrupting the telecast to speak glowingly about Rod Marinelli is just not a good idea. Marinelli is the current defensive coordinator of the Bears and the former head coach of the Lions. He coached the only 0-16 team in league history. And here is what Millen said about him during the second quarter Thursday night:

“That guy right there is one of the best coaches I have ever been around. That’s Rod Marinelli, the defensive coordinator. Why is he so good? He is a phenomenal teacher. He makes sure everybody knows exactly what they do, learns how they learn, and then teaches it to each individual. And he’s a stud in terms of coaching his coaches.”

Man, everything he described would embody a fantastic coach. But how good can Marinelli be if his team never won a game in 2008 and they went 10-38 during his three-year tenure? That’s what makes the statement so laughable. Millen, we saw for ourselves how bad Marinelli is as a coach. If he were so good, his team wouldn’t have gone 0-16. That Millen still calls him one of the best coaches he’s ever been around serves to further confirm what we already knew: Millen has horrible judgment as an evaluator.

Detroit TV Station Rips Matt Millen in Bottom Line Scroll During Super Bowl

The first second I saw that NBC had hired Matt Millen to provide in-studio analysis for the NFL playoffs, I was outraged. I questioned NBC’s sanity in placing a man who failed so miserably at his job of player analysis — GM of the Detroit Lions — into an “expert” role on TV. Well, apparently the NBC affiliate in Detroit wasn’t going to let the NBC Network nor Millen have the last word. Check out the scroll at the bottom of the screen while Millen spoke, as shown by Sports by Brooks:

You know you’ve made a questionable hire if an analysts comments have to come with a warning label-type caveat. I still can’t believe NBC made that hire. What were they thinking?

Why Does NBC Have Matt Millen in Their Broadcast Studio as an Expert Analyst?

I understand the way things work in sports broadcasting — the analyst jobs usually go to popular athletes who have retired or coaches who have recently been fired. I don’t have too many problems with this practice. For instance, ESPN brought recently fired Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer into their college football studio for analysis, and NBA TV has added recently fired Raptors coach Sam Mitchell to their studio. I’ll listen to what Fulmer has to say since the guy built a strong program and was a national champion coach. Mitchell last year led the Raptors to the playoffs and is a former Coach of the Year, so his analysis of the game carries weight. What I don’t understand is how NBC can invite Matt Millen into their studio as an analyst given his history as a team exec. The guy ran the Lions from ’01 until this season when he was finally sacked after a few games. The team’s record was 34-81 under his watch. Millen presided over one of the most embarrassing stretches for a team in the history of professional sports. What expert opinion could the guy possibly have to lend?

Yes, I understand that Millen was a Super Bowl winner as a player and that he began a career in broadcasting following retirement. Yes, I understand he may have had success in each of those areas in life. However, what’s freshest in my mind and that of pretty much any football fan is his failures with the Lions. Failures of gargantuan proportion. How could any sensible broadcasting outlet bring him in as an expert analyst and expect the audience to take anything he says seriously? The guy admitted in an interview with Dan Patrick that he was not qualified for the job when the Lions hired him and that he would have even fired himself. So when he says things like he “the Lions have a foundation in place” how can you help but not laugh? A foundation for what, more losing? To me, NBC Sports loses all credibility bringing him on for an analyst role. After the job he just did with the Lions, I have legitimate reasons to question anything and everything he says.

Bill Ford Jr. Would Fire Matt Millen

Matt Millen William Clay FordIf you want to talk about people having dirty pictures of their bosses, the argument begins and ends with Detroit Lions President and CEO Matt Millen. The amount of mistakes and awful moves he’s made in building the Detroit Lions makes Isiah Thomas look like Theo Epstein. Since he’s taken over the team, the Lions have lost more games than any team in the NFL by a wide margin. They’ve been brutal. They’ve been embarrassing. And this year’s team is showing no signs of improvement. That’s why Vice Chairman Bill Ford Jr. called out Millen, despite William Clay’s constant support of him.

A reporter asked Ford what he thought of the Lions’ performance Sunday, a 31-13 loss at San Francisco. “It was an embarrassment,” he said. “The fans deserve better. And if I had the authority, I would have fired the general manager.”

About 15 minutes later, in front of a larger crowd of reporters, Ford was peppered with more Lions-related questions.

“It’s been disappointing,” he said then. “I think the fans deserve better. And if it were in my authority, which it’s not, I’d make some significant changes.”

Those changes include getting rid of Matt Millen. Honestly, after all the futility, the losing, the awfulness, it’s about time someone spoke up. Seriously, when was the last time a successful NFL team was built by using four first round picks on wide receivers in like the span of five years? I didn’t even think it was possible to build as bad of a team as he puts out there each year. May Lions fans finally get their wish … sooner, rather than later.

William Clay Ford Confirms His Love for Matt Millen, Lions Still Screwed

Matt Millen William Clay FordYes, finally, we get to the bottom of the William Clay Ford/Matt Millen dynamic. For years it was speculated that Millen had pictures of Ford boozing it up with hookers on his lap and coke up his nose, but now we hear the truth. How can Ford put up with a GM whose team has gone 24-72 under his tenure? Well, apparently he likes the guy:

Asked if his judgment was clouded because he liked Millen personally, Ford said: “It’s possible. But I think if you like somebody and you believe in the same things that they believe in, I don’t know what other yardstick to put against it.”

Well William, if you’re looking for a yardstick, why don’t you try a win/loss record? That seems to be a great way of measuring success. You know, that and playoff appearances, division crowns, and Super Bowl rings. Not surprisingly, Ford has not put any additional pressure on the Lions and Millen to win this year, although he feels they’re on the cusp of something good. Great, that makes one quarterback, and now an owner.

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