A Tale of Two Cities


Tuesday provided a study in contrasts in the NFL. With the trade deadline looming, Martin Mayhew, interim general manager of the 0-5 Detroit Lions, sent star WR Roy Williams and a seventh round draft pick to the Cowboys in exchange for first, third and sixth round selections next April. Said espn.com NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert, “Good for the Lions.”

"[S]mart Lions fans know the competitive portion of this season is over. The Lions are 0-5 and, with any luck, will have the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft.Now, they can pair that pick with three additional selections — including the Cowboys’ first-round choice — and jump-start a long-needed replenishing of their roster. The loot, which also includes third- and sixth-round picks, could also make the franchise more appealing for candidates to replace Millen."

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, Mike Brown, Katie Blackburn and Troy Blackburn, the three-headed hydra GM of the 0-6 Bengals, allowed the NFL’s trade deadline to slip quietly by with no action. This despite increasingly loud murmurs that QB Carson Palmer’s elbow will sideline him for the rest of this season, and the likelihood that several starters, including wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, LT Levi Jones (whose knees appear to be shot), RT Stacy Andrews and C Eric Ghiacuic, will not return next season.

While I may not know just how hard it is to run an NFL franchise, I do know that fixing an 0-6 (going on 0-16) team is going to require more than just the usual platitudes and tinkering around the edges. I also know that the sooner you quit doing what isn’t working and start trying to rebuild, the better. Which is why today, Massillon High isn’t the only thing ahead of the Bengals. So is that cutting-edge organization in Detroit, the Lions.