In discussing the lofty task that lies ahead for Broncos’ new vice president of football operations John Elway, Matt Millen admitted he wasn’t very good at his job when he was GM of the Lions for an inexplicable seven full seasons.
“I hope John does better than I did, because I stunk at it,” he said.
It’s nice to know Millen’s actually aware of the permanent puke stain he left on that franchise, because there have been instances in the past where he’s come across annoyingly defensive of his “work.” But it gets better.
“The first thing John has to do is learn the culture of the building,” Millen said. “He should be ahead of the curve, because he’s been around it. And then he has to learn the culture of the league. There’s a lot of red tape, and there’s a lot of politicking.”
Of course, like anything else, one would need to get familiar with their new surroundings, but I’m guessing Elway is prettaaaaay, prettaaaaay, pretty familiar with all things Broncos. However, to avoid the red tape, politicking, coming in on Saturdays, and most importantly accountability, Elway would be wise to freeze Pat Bowlen in carbonite, much like Millen allegedly did with William Clay Ford.
“There’s a misconception about the job,” Millen continued. “It’s less about the game of football. It’s less about X’s and O’s. It’s less about personnel decisions. It’s a job about managing people. It’s about building a consensus when you pick the right head coach. You can’t go in and be this football czar and say this is how it’s going to work.”
To summarize, for the GM of a professional football team, the task at hand is less about football, X’s and O’s, and personnel decisions, and much more about finding bullshit vague excuses, as well as managing people and keeping them happy, like surprising them with Pizza Friday. This is generally the rule of thumb for teams that suck.
Matt Millen: ‘I Stunk’ at Being GM, John Elway Can Succeed [Fanhouse; photos via Getty]