ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -Maybe things can get worse for the Detroit Lions.
A day after Detroit lost at San Francisco, falling to 0-3, Lions vice chairman Bill Ford essentially said he'd fire team president Matt Millen if he had the authority.
``I think the fans deserve better and if it were in my authority, which it's not, I'd make some significant changes,'' Ford said Monday.
Asked by a reporter if he believed Millen should leave the team, Ford said, ``Yes, I do.''
The Ford Motor Co. executive chairman is the son of William Clay Ford, the franchise's owner since 1964.
In rare interviews, the elder Ford has stood by his decision to hire Millen in 2001 and to stick with him since then. With Ford atop the franchise, the Lions have won only one playoff game and are an NFL-worst 31-84 since Millen took over in 2001.
Millen won Super Bowls as a linebacker and was an acclaimed TV analyst, but had no front-office experience when he was hired in Detroit.
Bill Ford couldn't hide his excitement on Jan. 9, 2001, after he and the Lions lured Millen away from the broadcast booth to lead the franchise.
``I'm willing to stake my reputation on Matt's success,'' Bill Ford said after Millen was introduced at a news conference.
In recent years, however, Bill Ford has often declined comment when asked about Millen.
A message seeking comment on Ford's Monday remarks was left on Millen's cell phone and an interview request was made via a team spokesman.
Coach Rod Marinelli, who often talks about the importance of keeping outsiders from distracting the team, declined to comment on what Bill Ford said.
Marinelli did say, as he had the previous two Mondays coming off losses, that he is confident in his players and coaches despite the results.
The 49ers jumped ahead of Detroit 21-3 en route to a 31-13 victory.
In the first two losses, the Lions fell behind by three touchdowns before losing by 13 at Atlanta and by 23 against the Green Bay Packers at home.
Marinelli said the slow starts have disappointed him more than anything besides the team's record.
``We've gotten behind so early so fast. That's disturbing,'' he said. ``All three, we got behind very quickly and it's tough to win that way.''
core.
``It was the coaches' decision. They went with Rudi,'' Smith said Monday. ``It's kind of tough, especially because we didn't win.''
In Sunday's loss, quarterback Jon Kitna sprained his right knee, guard Stephen Peterman broke a hand, cornerback Travis Fisher had a strained groin and defensive tackle Cory Redding injured an ankle.
Marinelli said he didn't know how long or if Kitna would be sidelined, but he hoped the banged-up players and the rest of the team would benefit from the bye week following Tuesday's workout.
``I want them to get out of here because the bye happened so early this year,'' Marinelli said. ``This is the only chance they have to really get a break for the next 13 weeks.''
The Lions' next game is Oct. 5 at home against the Chicago Bears.

Recent NFL Discussions

PIGSKIN SUN. JAGS/PUNKS, MINN/PHIL on Sun, Jan 2018 by Timmy1961
Minnesota on Sun, Jan 2018 by Surfer
Sunday Plays on Sun, Jan 2018 by JBoppa
Sunday Championship Dogs on Sun, Jan 2018 by Timmy1961

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Vikings vs. Eagles Prediction Will the Eagles pull off another playoff upset this evening when they host the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game? Or will the Vikes punch...
Thumbnail Vikings vs. Eagles Total Prediction Will Sunday evening's NFC Championship Game turn into a defensive struggle when the Philadelphia Eagles host the Minnesota Vikings at 6:40 p.m....
Thumbnail NFC Public Betting: Vikings vs. Eagles Which team are public bettors siding with ahead of Sunday evening's NFC Title Game between the Vikings and Eagles?
Thumbnail NFC Title Game Spread Holds Firm The point spread for Sunday's NFC Championship Game between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles is holding steady at a key number.
Thumbnail Jaguars vs. Patriots Prediction Will the Jacksonville Jaguars stay within the point spread today when they visit the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game? Or will New...

NFL Team Pages