Bill Ford Jr. thrilled with direction Lions are headed

If Bill Ford Jr. is accurate when he compares Martin Mayhew to Alan Mulally maybe, just maybe the Detroit Lions are headed in the right direction.

It’s impossible to trust the Lions with their judgment right now after they let the Matt Millen era live for about, oh, five years more than it should have. But Ford is pleased in comments given to Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp.

Who is Mulally? He is the CEO of Ford Motor Company, the guy who has helped guide the automotive giant back toward profitability and away from a near certain death.

“I don’t want to replay the last 10 years,” Ford told Sharp. “We are where we are. I’m just very happy with the new regime.

“The best thing that any senior manager can do, whether it's at Ford Motor Co. or at the Lions, is to make sure you've got the right people in place and the right plan in place, and everybody is executing against that plan. There's no magic. It's hard work. It's keeping to the plan and not deviating. We're seeing that at Ford, and I'm seeing that in Martin.”

Ford talked about Mayhew’s vision for building the team both through the draft and free agency. He raved about the selection of Jim Schwartz as the coach and the identity the team has forged.

But what will prove Ford right that the Lions are headed in the right direction? A year removed from 0-16 they were still so bad that they garnered the No. 2 pick in the draft. If that’s progress, it’s slow progress.

“It's always hard to pin a number on it, and I'm not going to do that," Ford told Sharp. “But I expect us to be better, and I expect us to be an improved team, and I think we will be.
“This is still an economic time that's difficult, and we see that with everything in this area. But there's certainly an excitement level with the fans that we haven't had in a while.”

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