In a way I’m surprised at Bobby Ross’ resignation, because it seems so out-of-character for him to quit at something. But I think he was just burned-out at knocking his head against the wall with a franchise whose players just don’t seem to get it, decade-in and decade-out.
Yes, the Lions have a winning record. But it has been very deceptive. They have done just enough to win, the pretty solid victory against the Bucs in prime time a few Thursdays ago notwithstanding.
They are ranked near rock-bottom on both offense and defense. They’ve been heavily reliant on the fact that they are among the NFL leaders in takeaway-giveaway ratio (causing more fumbles/interceptions than you give up, for you not-so-fervent football fans).
Their last two losses were particularly ugly, although they were against two elite teams. They fell behind both Indy and Miami 23-0 in the first half. They trailed Miami 14-0 before their offense took a snap. While they battled back to make it close against the Colts, they seemed to quit against the 'Fins.
You really had to see the Miami game Sunday to fully appreciate just how bad the Lions looked. They were inept in all facets of the game. Lots of mental errors. The offense, which started the year poorly, appears to be regressing rather than getting better – particularly the passing game.
Ross apparently felt the players weren’t reflecting his ideas of discipline and toughness. He seemed very disillusioned over his inability to motivate the team and get it focused. And he takes losing VERY hard, particularly when dumb mistakes and a lack of effort contribute to it. I bet he was concerned about his health. (I wish the Lions players took losing as hard as their now ex-coach does.)
Ross probably saw the handwriting on the wall, that the remainder of Detroit’s schedule includes a lot of road games and tough opponents. Barring something miraculous, there will be no 9-7 or 10-6 with the annual first-round playoff loss this year.
Essentially, Ross left for the same reasons Barry Sanders did. He couldn’t take what he was seeing on a weekly basis, and the apparent hopelessness of it ever getting any better.
And in typical Lions fashion, they promote linebackers coach Gary Moeller to head coach - and give him a three-year contract!! Moeller has previously served as a running backs and tight end coach in the NFL. He had a famous flame-out, drunken tirade at a restaurant that led to his firing as the University of Michigan’s head coach years ago.
He’s never even been an offensive or defensive coordinator in the NFL. What a resume! And they sign him for three years, not even going through the motions of attempting to get a top-flight coach.
I wish I could have excised the portion of my brain that forces me to hold my allegiance with this sad-sack team.