Millen says Lions' downfall is his fault

Updated: January 6, 2009, 11:29 AM ET
Associated Press

Fired Detroit Lions president Matt Millen, the architect of the NFL's first 0-16 team, says he's responsible for its historic encounter with failure.

Lions fire Marinelli

NFL.com Video

After the first 0-16 season in NFL history, the Detroit Lions parted ways with coach Rod Marinelli.

Appearing Saturday on NBC's "Football Night in America," Millen said he would have fired himself after the 2008 season. He said that being sacked after the third week cost the Lions and coach Rod Marinelli some needed stability and consistency.

Detroit went 31-84 under Millen, a Super Bowl-winning linebacker lured out of the broadcast booth by team owner William Clay Ford in 2001.

Millen says the Lions have more talent than they're given credit for, and he thinks they could improve quickly. He cites two playoff teams, the Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins, who had four wins and one win, respectively, in 2007.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press