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 Mayhew 
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Post Mayhew
Freep wrote:
Lions' GM Martin Mayhew: Biggest misstep was no Plan B for Jahvid Best
January 3, 2013
By Carlos Monarrez

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew sounded like a man who wasn't about to get burned by the same mistake twice during his end-of-season news conference Wednesday night.

Mayhew did not prepare for the loss this season of multitalented running back Jahvid Best, who was never cleared from a concussion he suffered in 2011. Mayhew was unequivocal about not counting on Best for the 2013 season.

"Probably the biggest mistake that I made last year was counting on Jahvid Best to come back," Mayhew said. "And it's no knock on him. He did everything he could to get back.

"But based on the information we were getting, medically, I felt very comfortable he was coming back. We did not have a real plan to replace him, and all of the information that we had acting in real time was that he would be back."

Best's concussion certainly has been a curious one.

He suffered two brain injuries in 2011: one in the exhibition season and one in an Oct. 16 loss to the 49ers that ended his season. He also had at least one serious concussion during his final season at Cal.

While doctors were examining Best's head, Mayhew was scratching his.

In May, Mayhew said he thought Best would be cleared by June. In June, Mayhew said he thought Best would be ready for training camp and could be one of three players, along with Nick Fairley and Willie Young, with potential for breakout seasons. In July, Mayhew said he was "a little bit surprised" and "a little bit disappointed" Best had not been cleared.

"And really, in the history of the NFL, I've asked people, I can't think of a single player with a head injury who was asymptomatic that wanted to play that wasn't allowed to play," Mayhew said Wednesday. "I think he's the first one ever."

Mayhew was careful about how he addressed Best's medical situation and stopped short of blaming doctors for being too cautious in clearing Best, who called himself the "poster boy" for the NFL's more stringent concussion protocols.

"I can't really get into what their motivation was, but it was something," Mayhew said. "It was totally different than the way these situations have been handled in the past. That's all I can really say about it."

Mayhew would not say whether Best has a chance to return, but it's clear Best will not factor into personnel decisions.

"He hasn't played since last October (2011)," Mayhew said. "No, I'm not inclined at all to think it's going to work out. I'm not at all inclined to rely on his return at this point. If that happens, that would be great. But I'm not at all inclined to rely on that."

It also appears the Best situation will color Mayhew's decisions on acquiring concussed players in the future.

"Unless they are cleared, then you can't count on them," he said. "And I think there's a new era with regard to the treatment of head injuries and the caution that we're taking with head injuries. And I think if you have a guy that goes into the off-season and he's not cleared, I think it would be pretty smart to have alternate plans."

And that's where Mayhew and the Lions find themselves now -- looking for an alternative to Best. They have two similar bigger backs in Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell, but they need a replacement for Best, who helped the Lions start 5-0 in 2011.

"We need that shifty back that can come in and be that change-of-pace guy who can catch passes out of the backfield, a guy that can run routes and get one-on-one with a linebacker," Mayhew said. "And I think that's what Jahvid gave us: a guy with some juice, some elusiveness.

"So we'll be looking for that guy. And yeah, somebody that's good at that? Yeah, it's hard to find. But there are guys out there who can do it."

Contact Carlos Monarrez: 313-222-6697 or cmonarrez@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.

http://www.freep.com/article/20130103/S ... 1049/rss14

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January 3rd, 2013, 9:43 am
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Post Re: Mayhew
MLive wrote:
Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew on a mission to find more defensive play-makers
By Justin Rogers | jrogers@mlive.com
on January 03, 2013 at 6:15 AM

ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions coaching staff and front office continue to point to turnover differential as a key difference between the team's 2011 playoff campaign and its 4-12 disaster in 2012.

It's a fair point to highlight. The Lions went from fourth in the NFL last season (plus-11) to 30th in 2012 (minus-16). That's a nearly impossible difference to overcome.

After reviewing the team's performance with his staff, Lions general manager Martin Mayhew came to the conclusion that the only defensive starter who showed marked improvement was defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The others, whether it was because of age, injury, or talent, either plateaued or regressed.

"If you want to have a better defense, you have to have better individual performances, and we didn't have that this year," Mayhew said.

One area Mayhew feels he needs to improve the roster this offseason is the addition of play-makers -- the types of players who can consistently generate turnovers and make key stops -- especially in the back end.

"We have a lot of guys, who are good guys, that line up right, they know what their job is, but they don't impact the game," Mayhew said. "We need interceptors, guys that can sack the quarterback, we need guys that cause fumbles, that make plays on third down. Those are the kinds of guys that can change the game for us."

Mayhew referenced former Lions cornerback Dre Bly as the type of player who had a nose for the football. In four seasons with Detroit, he tallied 19 interceptions and forced 12 fumbles.

In the 2012 draft, Mayhew opted to select offensive players in the first two rounds. If the Lions general manager is serious about adding play-makers to the defense, he can do so with the team's first two picks in 2013.

With the fifth pick in the first round, the Lions should have the choice of a number of dominant play-making pass rushers such as Damontre Moore, Bjoern Werner, or Jarvis Jones. All three players had at least 12 sacks last season, while Jones forced an NCAA-leading seven fumbles.

In the second round, the Lions could shift the focus to the back end, where a number of top-rated safeties and cornerbacks are likely to be available.

http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/20 ... ive.com%29

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January 3rd, 2013, 9:45 am
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Post Re: Mayhew
DetNews wrote:
Lions brass needs to fix what's ailing team -- and do it quickly
January 3, 2013 at 1:15 am
John Niyo

Allen Park -- In a brief moment of levity Wednesday, Martin Mayhew began his postmortem of the Lions' season by comparing it to a reality TV show.

And to some, that'll no doubt reinforce the notion this team's ownership is living in fantasy land, retaining the services of the bulk of its coaching staff, including Jim Schwartz and all three of his coordinators, as well as Mayhew, the team's general manager, after a 4-12 season that showed, above all else, the Lions weren't ready for prime time. Not even close, actually.

But that's exactly what the plan is, "as far as I know," Mayhew said Wednesday, as he met with reporters in Allen Park for nearly an hour to discuss what went wrong for a franchise that went from a rare playoff berth in 2011 to being arguably the NFL's biggest bust in 2012.

"It could be like 'Survivor,' you know, where you go back and you write somebody's name down and you think that they're going home?" joked Mayhew, who did have a postseason conversation on the phone Monday night with owner William Clay Ford Sr. and Lions vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. "But, no, as far as I know, we're going to be back. I've spoken with Mr. Ford and Bill and we talked about our plans going forward. And we're certainly working on getting things right."

If they don't, Mayhew, who was promoted from within after Matt Millen was fired as GM in September 2008 and then retained after that winless season, knows he may not get another opportunity beyond 2013.

Changes clearly needed
Mayhew declined to discuss his contract status Wednesday — Schwartz's recently extended deal runs through 2015 — but his record is the same as Schwartz's the last four years (22-42) and that won't cut it, even in Detroit, where winning has mostly seemed incidental for much of the last half-century or so.

"I mean, we were the fourth-best team in a four-team division," said Mayhew, whose teams are 5-19 against the NFC North since 2009. "We didn't beat anybody in our division the whole season. So clearly we're not good enough. So we've got to make some changes."

Schwartz already made some, cutting ties with a few of his assistant coaches. Mayhew said Wednesday he didn't expect any more subtractions there, but he did say there's a chance of more changes in the front office. ("That could possibly happen," he said.) And he made it clear he felt the biggest problems had less to do with the coaching than they did the personnel — the players on the field, as well as the ones not on it.

He answered a series of questions about Titus Young, the exiled No. 2 receiver who was in Allen Park — with his parents — for his annual exit physical Wednesday. But Mayhew, who met briefly with Young, didn't shed much light on his future with the team.

Young's unquestionably a talent the Lions were counting on this season — "I think he really unlocked our offense in 2011," Mayhew said — but he finally was banished for insubordination in November after repeated clashes with coaches and teammates. As for bringing him back, Mayhew said, "I think it has to be the right situation for him and for us."

Mayhew acknowledged he erred in thinking running back Jahvid Best — the real key to the Lions' offense beyond quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson — would be cleared to return after another concussion ended his 2011 season.

"Probably the biggest mistake that I made last year was counting on Jahvid Best to come back," Mayhew said, adding that all the medical reports pointed to his return and "I can't think of a single player with a head injury who was asymptomatic that wanted to play that wasn't allowed to play. I think he's the first one, ever."

And yet, he admits, "We didn't have a real plan to replace him."

Figuring out flop
They didn't plan on their expected starting secondary — cornerbacks Chris Houston, Jacob Lacey and Bill Bentley, along with safeties Louis Delmas and Amari Spievey — only playing one game together.

I don't think many of us expected much from that group, either. But regardless, Mayhew did plan on getting much more from his defense. And when I asked him if the Lions had "overestimated" their talent coming off the 10-6 playoff breakthrough a year ago, he said, "That's quite possible."

"I certainly thought we were going to get some better performances," Mayhew said. "I mean, who on our defense played better than they did last year? Of the 10 starters that we brought back, probably Ndamukong was the one guy that played noticeably better."

It's up to Mayhew and Schwartz, with whom the GM insists he has a "great" relationship, now to figure out why. And to figure out how in the world they'll fix it — given the salary-cap constraints and a roster that features two dozen free agents — in short order.

"I think that's the nature of the NFL," Mayhew said. "I think you have to win. You're here to win football games.

"So anytime you only win four, you better have a sense of urgency that you better get it turned around (and) you better get it going in the right direction quickly."

Because this being the NFL, which is just show business in shoulder pads, the reality is — even in this depressed market — somebody's going to have to pull the plug soon if the ratings don't improve.

john.niyo@detnews.com

twitter.com/JohnNiyo

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2013 ... z2Gv6WyzWh

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January 3rd, 2013, 9:49 am
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Post Re: Mayhew
I know it's been hinted at by some posters here, but seeing Mayhew saying it just confirms it: something very sinister is going on with Best.

"And really, in the history of the NFL, I've asked people, I can't think of a single player with a head injury who was asymptomatic that wanted to play that wasn't allowed to play," Mayhew said Wednesday. "I think he's the first one ever."

Just another case of the league making an example out of the Lions? It's hard to see it any other way.

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January 3rd, 2013, 10:00 am
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thelomasbrowns wrote:
I know it's been hinted at by some posters here, but seeing Mayhew saying it just confirms it: something very sinister is going on with Best.

"And really, in the history of the NFL, I've asked people, I can't think of a single player with a head injury who was asymptomatic that wanted to play that wasn't allowed to play," Mayhew said Wednesday. "I think he's the first one ever."

Just another case of the league making an example out of the Lions? It's hard to see it any other way.


From what I understand, it's not the league, but the team that's holding Best out. Where's the league-wide conspiracy? Seems like the Fords and Mayhew have two different plans.


January 3rd, 2013, 3:54 pm
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Post Re: Mayhew
Maybe if we're all lucky this season has been an eye opening and humbling one for Mayhew. Perhaps he will actually notice his mistakes and make the needed changes to improve the team and demonstrate he learned from those mistakes. I'm not confident that it will happen but this should have been a kick in the teeth for the coaches and front office, so I'm really hoping they figure things out since its obvious they are staying for at least one more year.


January 3rd, 2013, 10:16 pm
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Post Re: Mayhew
ESPN wrote:
Presuming a defensive overhaul for Lions
January, 3, 2013
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com

We noted earlier that Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew admitted he was wrong to count on tailback Jahvid Best to play this season. But that was just one of several acknowledgments and candid comments Mayhew made during an interview session with local reporters, and his most striking comments implied a major and immediate overhaul of the Lions' defense.

Much of the Lions' defensive nucleus is made up of pending free agents, and you wonder how many Mayhew wants to bring back after reading some of Mayhew's quotes. He admitted it's "quite possible" he misjudged the defense's talent level entering the season, and said it needs more playmakers.

"We need good players," Mayhew said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. "It doesn't really matter how we get them from my standpoint. But we need good players, and we need impact players, especially on the back end on the defense.

"We need guys that can impact the game," he added. "We've got a lot of guys that are good guys. They line up right, they know what their job is, but they don't impact the game. We need interceptors. We need guys that sack the quarterback. We need guys that cause fumbles, guys that make plays on third down. Those are the kind of guys that can change the game for us."

What's amazing is that even the most amateur observers have been questioning the Lions' secondary for years. It's true that safety Louis Delmas is a difference-maker when healthy, but for the most part it appears Mayhew went into the season counting on players to do things they had never or rarely done before.

Who did Mayhew expect to be his interceptors? Cornerback Chris Houston had five in 2011, but has never had more than two in any of his other five NFL seasons. Cornerback Jacob Lacey had five interceptions in three previous seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Safety Amari Spievey had five in two previous seasons. Cornerback Bill Bentley was a rookie, and thus his production was impossible to project.

Mayhew said the only defensive player who improved from 2011 was defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, a warning shot for everyone who is eligible for free agency and a few others as well. (I assume he skipped over defensive tackle Nick Fairley, because he was injured for most of last season.)

The free agent list includes defensive linemen Cliff Avril, Corey Williams, Willie Young and Lawrence Jackson. Linebackers Justin Durant and DeAndre Levy are on it, as are Houston, Delmas, Lacey and Spievey. Given Mayhew's comments, you would think that many of them will be looking for work elsewhere this spring.

Of course, Mayhew's search for "playmakers" is no different than what every other team is looking for. He won't find playmakers at every position, but in 2012, the Lions were pretty thin across the board. Most fans directed their ire at the Lions' inconsistent offense, but it rarely got help from the defense. The Lions recovered the NFL's sixth-fewest fumbles (six), had only 11 interceptions (No. 23) and ranked No. 22 in sacks per opposing dropback (5.6), according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Again, I appreciate Mayhew's honesty. There is not much to criticize here that he did not already acknowledge. The Lions stood pat last offseason and paid for it. That doesn't appear to be a possibility in 2013.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_ ... -for-lions
I agree with the bolded part and have said so repeatedly. If you have a defense that is not stopping on 3rd down, causing turnovers and stopping the opponent, you're chances of winning are very slim. Does the offense need to do better? Absolutely, but IMO its mostly on the execution and not the talent.

Per ESPN:
Offense ranked 17 - 23.3 pts/g
Defense ranked 27 - 27.3 pts/g

For comparison, the other teams in the NFC North:
CHI
Offense ranked 16 - 23.4 pts/g
Defense ranked 3 - 17.3 pts/g

GB
Offense ranked 5 - 27.1 pts/g
Defense ranked 11 - 21.0 pts/g

MIN
Offense ranked 16 - 23.7 pts/g
Defense ranked T14 - 21.8 pts/g

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January 4th, 2013, 9:59 am
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Post Re: Mayhew
While I agree the D Needs playmakers, you could add 2-3 playmakers and the D will still have Holes. Additionally , unless they upgrade the OL we will still lose more than we win because we cant get 1-2 yds or 3rd/4th and 1. Nobody has even won crap in the NFL if they couldnt get 1 yd when they need it, and we are so bad at it most of the time we dont even try and line up with 3-4 wide and throw.

Also PPG doesnt tell the story when you give up 4 ST TDs in 2 games, and throw multiple Pick 6s throughout the year. Add in the Multitude of picks and poor kick coverage that gave incredible field position and you are starting to get the real story.

You only need to look as far as 1 game to see why those numbers are bunk.. at least when applied to the 2012 Lions.

We lost to AZ 38-10, and the D played solid. How could we lose by so much then you ask... 2 Pick 6s, a Muffed Punt at the 3 yd line, another pick returned to the 3 yd line. The D gave up 2 First Downs and 197 total yards, but got saddled with "38ppg".

If the lines could run when they needed to, even just to get 1-2 yds on 3rd/4th and 1, we would have won 3-5 more games this year. Take out the 2 ST disasters and you are talking 5-7 or a record like 9-7 or even 10-6.

No Argument the D has WAY less talent overall, but the O was a bigger problem.


January 4th, 2013, 1:03 pm
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Post Re: Mayhew
So, is Mayhew finally admitting he doesn't know how to draft? I'll give him credit for a couple good finds (S. Hill, W. Young) in the mid to later rounds. But look at all the misses: Spievay, T. Young, Hogue, D. Williams, Levy, Best.
I didn't address last years draft, too soon to tell. Actually I think he needs help, or better scouts. Maybe both.


January 4th, 2013, 7:17 pm
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liontrax wrote:
So, is Mayhew finally admitting he doesn't know how to draft? I'll give him credit for a couple good finds (S. Hill, W. Young) in the mid to later rounds. But look at all the misses: Spievay, T. Young, Hogue, D. Williams, Levy, Best.
I didn't address last years draft, too soon to tell. Actually I think he needs help, or better scouts. Maybe both.


He already came out and re-affirmed not only "the" bpa approach, but "his" bpa approach. I don't think he's admitting anything, and I don't think he's "seeing things" more clearly either. Sure the D needs playmakers, but again it sounds like he's going to ignore the interior OL. If we ignore the OL yet again and can't move the ball on 3rd and short, we're going to stink again next year.


January 4th, 2013, 7:23 pm
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Post Re: Mayhew
liontrax wrote:
So, is Mayhew finally admitting he doesn't know how to draft? I'll give him credit for a couple good finds (S. Hill, W. Young) in the mid to later rounds. But look at all the misses: Spievay, T. Young, Hogue, D. Williams, Levy, Best.
I didn't address last years draft, too soon to tell. Actually I think he needs help, or better scouts. Maybe both.



To be fair I don't think you can call levy a miss. He has had 2 solid years for us so far. He not great by any means, but far from a miss. And no one knew the league was going to ban Javid "scrambled eggs for brains" Best from playing. Everyone knew he'd be a gamble, but with as well as he played when he could, he was a gamble most people would have taken. Spivey we never used right. I think he would be very solid as a nickel in Dungy/Lovie Tampa 2 system. NO one saw Titus being that big of a retard.

He called the stafford pick, when many here were clammoring for us to wait a year for Bradford who was going to be a waaaay better pro, and more still were begging for the guaranteed hit in Curry (myself included) .


While I'm no longer a "in Mayew I trust" guy, I can put too much hate on him. I would have done things different but I would have missed as well. As would just about everyone here.


January 4th, 2013, 8:03 pm
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Post Re: Mayhew
liontrax wrote:
So, is Mayhew finally admitting he doesn't know how to draft? I'll give him credit for a couple good finds (S. Hill, W. Young) in the mid to later rounds. But look at all the misses: Spievay, T. Young, Hogue, D. Williams, Levy, Best.
I didn't address last years draft, too soon to tell. Actually I think he needs help, or better scouts. Maybe both.


Well to look at your examples, Spievey and Levy both got significant time as starters, which you would hope for with 3rd round picks. They weren't world beaters, but I don't think you would call them busts. Hogue was a 5th rounder but caught up in the numbers game with all of our secondary shuffling. Titus is super talented but he's a headcase. Best super talented but is the NFL's counterargument in the concussion lawsuits.

The one genuine bust you listed is D. Williams.

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January 4th, 2013, 10:37 pm
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Post Re: Mayhew
Spievay was a CB that they moved to safety, and he can't play that competently either. It's like they didn't know who to take, so they took a corner. Seems to me they didn't do their homework (miss). Levy has been a decent LB at times, but nothing special, and hardly worth a 3rd round pick (miss). Hogue was a gamble. He hadn't even played LB very long in college (miss). Titus Young is talented, but the Lions could have drafted a couple of other guys that were just as talented at that position without the bad attitude (miss). Best had a history of concussions in college. So he was a gamble, and we can't afford gambles that high in the draft (miss). I'm a Best fan, and would like to see him be able to comeback. Just don't see that happening.
I didn't refer to any of them as busts. Believe all would have been drafted, though maybe not that high. Lions scouting and particularly Mayhew need to do a better job.


January 5th, 2013, 11:23 am
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Post Re: Mayhew
It'll be interesting to see if Mayhew actually has the guts to follow thru with making major changes to the back-end. We could be looking at Green and Bentley as our starting corners. Is Delmas going to be resigned? Hope so.
I"m all for drafting a CB and S in the 1st 3 rounds and having them start. As for the LB's, I don't mind letting the fa's go, and starting the kids they drafted last year. The way I look at it they can't play a whole lot worse, and need playing time to see if they will pan out.


January 5th, 2013, 10:48 pm
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Post Re: Mayhew
liontrax wrote:
It'll be interesting to see if Mayhew actually has the guts to follow thru with making major changes to the back-end. We could be looking at Green and Bentley as our starting corners. Is Delmas going to be resigned? Hope so.
I"m all for drafting a CB and S in the 1st 3 rounds and having them start. As for the LB's, I don't mind letting the fa's go, and starting the kids they drafted last year. The way I look at it they can't play a whole lot worse, and need playing time to see if they will pan out.


I agree. I don't think the Lewis boys would be any worse than Levy and Durant.
And they are cheaper. I think we can get an OT, CB, and Safety in the first 3 rounds. If we can resign Avril and get a Center and a Guard in free agency, we are in super bowl contention next year. I think Lojack and Young can rotate on the side opposite Avril for a year. We can get a DE in next years draft.


January 5th, 2013, 11:04 pm
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