The Detroit Lions have already traded away the league's best defender, but that doesn't mean team president Matt Millen doesn't know what he's doing. Actually, that's exactly what it means, and it's the latest example of the poor decision-making skillz that have plagued him and haunted Lions fans during his nine-year career.
But all is not lost; head coach Rod Marinelli is committed to winning, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. He fired pass-happy offensive coordinator Mike Martz after the '07 season and brought in Jim Colletto, an avowed fan of the running game.
Being a proponent of the run and being successful at it are two different things, however, which is why Millen worked his personnel magic this afternoon and upgraded the position with two deft moves:
The Lions have confirmed that free agent running back Rudi Johnson has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the team. ... The Lions aren't expected to announce any roster moves until Tuesday, but [Tatum] Bell told a Denver television station that he's been informed that he'll be released. ...Marinelli is way older than he looks, but I agree, Johnson is a big, physical back with gobs of talent. He's been troubled by injuries in recent seasons, but he's certainly an improvement to Tatum Bell.
After practice Monday ... Marinelli said, "I just had a chance to watch him in some drills (during a workout) and he's impressive. He's a big, thick guy who has great feet. I played against him over the years so I know he's a very physical back. He's a guy with a lot of talent and a lot of experience.''
Mlive.com's Tom Kowalski writes that Johnson will be second on the depth chart, which means he'll periodically spell rookie starter Kevin Smith, who was awesome in Scream 3 (bet he never heard that before).