|PONTIAC, Mich. -- Marty Mornhinweg officially became coach
of the Detroit Lions on Thursday and immediately set his sights on
the Super Bowl.
"I'm excited about this opportunity," Mornhinweg said at a
news conference. "The bar is high. The goal for this organization
is to win Super Bowls."
Mornhinweg agreed to a five-year deal, worth around $5 million, sources told ESPN.
The Lions have never played in a Super Bowl, but new president
Matt Millen believes Mornhinweg can get them there. Millen, who
played on four Super Bowl champions with three teams, said the
38-year-old Mornhinweg comes to Detroit "with a great pedigree."
"He's his own man," Millen said of the former San Francisco
49ers offensive coordinator. "He's strong. He's a bulldog."
Mornhinweg becomes the Lions' third coach in three months. He
replaces the fired Gary Moeller, who moved in after Bobby Ross
resigned in November. Mornhinweg was one of five coaches considered
for the job since Millen was hired two weeks ago.
Moeller was fired after taking over a 5-4 team that ended up 9-7
and out of the playoffs. Moeller's assistants also were fired but
some could be re-hired by Mornhinweg.
Mornhinweg's hiring clearly showed Millen was in charge because
Lions owner William Clay Ford wanted Moeller to stay for another
season. But Ford didn't stand in Millen's way after giving him full
authority to run the team.
The Lions will count on Mornhinweg to improve the play of
quarterback Charlie Batch, who had 13 touchdown passes and 15
interceptions last season.
Mornhinweg plans to stick with Batch.
"Charlie will be the quarterback for the Detroit Lions," he
said. "Unless something crazy or unforeseen happens."
Mornhinweg had a record-setting career at Montana as a
quarterback. The Edmond, Okla., native played briefly in the Arena
Football League before a career-ending knee injury. He then spent
10 seasons as a college assistant before joining the Green Bay
Mornhinweg spent the last four seasons as the 49ers' offensive
coordinator after two years as an offensive assistant and
quarterbacks coach for the Packers.
Mornhinweg has never been a head coach at any level, nor does he
have any coaching experience on defense. He was Brett Favre's
position coach during Green Bay's 1996 Super Bowl season.
Millen, a former NFL standout and broadcast analyst, received a
five-year, $15 million contract to be the president and chief
executive officer in Detroit.
Moeller was given a 2½-year contract when he took the Detroit
coaching job last season. But his status became shaky when Millen
"I regret that I will not have the opportunity to continue
coaching and working with the players who have meant so much to
me," Moeller said in a written statement. "I was truly delighted
to be their leader for the last two months of the season. They
became a very special group."
The Lions had fired their offensive and defensive coordinators
along with their receivers coach after being eliminated from the
playoffs with a loss to Chicago at home in the regular-season
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
|Matt Millen, left, the new president of the Detroit Lions, introduces the team's new coach, Marty Mornhinweg, during a news conference.
AthletesDirect: Sanders speaks out about his future
'Niners expect to slide QB coach Knapp into coordinator slot
Mornhinweg's decision narrows Browns' coaching list
Marty Morhinweg has high hopes of winning Super Bowls for the Detroit Lions.
wav: 212 k
RealAudio: 14.4 | 28.8 | 56.6