Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Matt Millen's son punched him for drafting Mike Williams instead of DeMarcus Ware


There are reasons why Matt Millen's eight-year tenure with the Detroit Lions from 2001 to 2008 produced such a lousy record (31-84). One of those reasons has to do with the ill-fated decisions the former CEO and president made on draft day.

In 2005, the Lions selected wide receiver Mike Williams with their first pick of the draft, passing up the chance to take defensive end DeMarcus Ware, who has become a perennial Pro Bowler, while Williams has certainly not.

But if Millen would have listened to his son, the Lions would have wound up with Ware, and Millen would have avoided being punched by his offspring.

"He still punches me," Millen said.

Millen claims that both he and his son wanted to draft Ware, but Lions scouts talked him into picking Williams, instead. Williams turned out to be a proverbial bust and Millen knew he had made the wrong choice almost immediately.

"DeMarcus Ware — it wasn't even close. You put the tape on, you see (the ability). I just capitulated. It's nobody's fault but my own."

For the record, Millen's son, Matthew, was in his early twenties during that time, so it's not like Millen would have been taking advice from a child. His son obviously knew better than he did.

"It's part of what you've done, it's part of what you are," Millen told USA TODAY Sports while reflecting on his Lions tenure. "But it's not like I hide from it. There was no success there, but anything you say about it sounds like an excuse, and I'm not about excuses. They're reasons after the fact. What can you say? ... You're better off saying nothing.

"They're my mistakes. I didn't pick the right guys."


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