LIONS Detroit keeps struggling Mornhinweg, Millen
The unpopular coach and GM duo have a 5-27 record over two seasons.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -- President Matt Millen and coach Marty Mornhinweg got another chance to turn around the Detroit Lions, keeping their jobs Tuesday despite a 5-27 record over two seasons.
"It's ugly. It's worse than that," Millen said. "[But] we fight it, we move forward with conviction. And, of course, you've got to get some players and do a better job of coaching."
The Lions went 3-13 this season, losing their last eight games. The club's winning percentage of .156 over the last two seasons is the worst for such a span in franchise history.
"There are reasons for those things, some of them controllable some of them not controllable," Millen said.
Mornhinweg's record matches Chris Palmer's 1999-00 showing with the Cleveland Browns as the worst two-year stretch for a new coach since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978.
Palmer, though, was coaching an expansion team. Mornhinweg took over a team that went 9-7 and narrowly missed the playoffs.
Mornhinweg never had been a head coach at any level. He was widely criticized this season for choosing to take the wind instead of the ball after the Lions won an overtime coin toss in a game against Chicago. The Bears got the kickoff and drove to the winning field goal.
Millen, who won four Super Bowl rings with three teams as a linebacker, never held a front-office position before quitting his job as a TV analyst to join the Lions in January 2001.
His low point this season might have been when he called a player a "devout coward" on a radio show.
Detroit is 0-16 on the road under Mornhinweg and Millen, the first time in team history it went two years without an away win. When Mornhinweg was hired, he did not hesitate to set his sights on the Super Bowl, a game in which Detroit never has played.
"The bar is high," he said. "The goal for this organization is to win Super Bowls."
Detroit has one playoff victory since winning the 1957 NFL title.