The Detroit Lions, who are off to a poor 1-7 start to the season, made a statement to the players, coaches and fan base as general manager Martin Mayhew and president Tom Lewand have been fired by owner Martha Ford.
"We are very disappointed with the results of the season so far," Ford said during a short statement Thursday. "And believe a change in leadership was necessary."
Just over a week ago, the Lions fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, along with offensive line coaches Jeremiah Washburn and Terry Heffernan.
"I want to assure our fans that we intend to identify and hire the very best leadership in order to produce a consistently winning football team," Ford said. "Our fans deserve a winning football team. And we will do everything possible to make it a reality.
"I also want to make it clear that we have no intention of giving up on the season. We expect our team to compete and improve and win."
Sheldon White will become the interim general manager and Allison Maki will be the interim chief operating officer. Prior to Thursday, White was the vice president of pro personnel and Maki was the senior vice president of administration and chief financial officer.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, head coach Jim Caldwell will remain the Lions coach, for now. Caldwell could just be a placeholder until the new front office finds their new coach, or he really is here for the long hall. Either way, the team needs to turn things around immediately.
Mayhew started with the Lions in the middle of the 2008 season, which Detroit finished 0-16. After finishing out the season as the interim manager, the Lions made him the full-time general manager. Mayhew won the Super Bowl XXVI with the Washington Redskins.
The 50-year-old hired Jim Schwartz, who took the Lions to the playoffs in 2011, but then fired him before bringing in Caldwell as the head coach.
The Lions hired Lewand in late December of 2008 as the team president. Prior to his hiring as the president, Lewand worked with the team for 14 seasons, plus his six as the president to give him 20 seasons in Detroit.
White played cornerback in the National Football League after being selected in the third round of the 1988 NFL Draft out of Miami University (OH). He played for the New York Giants (1988-1989), Lions (1990-1992) and Cincinnati Bengals (1993). The 50-year-old logged 11 interceptions for 151 yards and a touchdown over his career.
The Lions will look to pick it up and finish the season strong. Their attempt to eventually become a top team in the NFL will start with the rest of the season and will carry into the NFL Draft.
Detroit, led by Mayhew, has struggled with recent selections, such as Kyle Van Noy, Titus Young and Darius Slay, just to name a few. Meanwhile, former first-round draft picks Nick Fairley or Ndamukong Suh are no longer with the Lions, as they found a new home in free agency.
Matthew Stafford, the first-overall pick in 2009, will need to help the coaching staff and front office in leading this team to a solid rest of the season, which the fan base is begging.
Detroit has a bye this week, but will be back for Week 10 to take on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.