The Lions have a lot of answering to do after turning in a terrible season in 2012, and general manager Martin Mayhew is starting to step up to the plate. Now that it’s apparently clear that his job in Detroit is safe, he’s starting to take the blame for the recent struggles the Lions have been having — sort of.
Mayhew halfway took the blame for the struggle on offense, but by taking the blame he shoveled most of it on concussed running back Jahvid Best, a guy he said was his biggest mistake.
“It’s no knock on him, he did everything he could to get back,” Mayhew said. “Based on the information we were getting, medically, I felt very comfortable that he was coming back. We didn’t have a real plan to replace him. All the information that we had, acting in real time, was that he would be back.
Best missed all of the 2012 season after suffering a concussion and his future in the NFL has been called into question. Mayhew wouldn’t definitively say whether or not Best’s fate in Detroit is sealed or not, but he didn’t say with any sort of confidence that Best is going to be back in Detroit and that he won’t be the focus of the Lions running game moving forward.
“I’m not inclined at all to think it’s going to work out,” he said. “I’m not at all inclined to rely on his return at this point. If that happens, it will be great, but I’m not at all inclined to rely on that.”
Mayhew said that it was never his intention to replace Best, but he had to roll with the punches once Best went down as hard as he did. But Mayhew also said that while Best may not be the man of the future in Detroit, that doesn’t mean his skill set isn’t highly sought after.
“We need that shifty back that can be a change-of-pace guy and can catch passes out of the backfield, a guy that can run routes one-on-one and beat a linebacker. That was what Jahvid gave us, a guy with some juice and some elusiveness. We’ll be looking for that guy.”