ANOTHER EXERCISE IN GEOMETRY FOR THE NFC NORTH?
Two-plus years ago, the Vikings announced their new power structure by coining a new term. The Triangle of Authority. The Triangle consisted of coach Brad Childress, cap guy Rob Brzezinski, and personnel exec Fran Foley. It became a Straight Line of Authority when Foley stepped down after the 2006 draft, based in large part on glaring irregularities in his résumé. And then it became a Triangle again, once Rick Spielman was hired. Even though they’ve never really called it a Triangle since Spielman arrived. In Detroit, a Square of Authority could be in the offing. The three corners already are in place -- coach Rod Marinelli, G.M. Martin Mayhew, and COO Tom Lewand. The missing piece could be Falcons president Rich McKay, who has been exiled from the football operation in Atlanta (but for his ongoing presence on the Competition Committee). McKay has direct ties to two of the other three. During McKay’s stay in Tampa, Mayhew was a player and Marinelli was an assistant coach. So there’s already talk in some league circles that McKay could be the person for whom Mayhew, Lewand, and Marinelli will be pushing, primarily since McKay wouldn’t come in and fire each of them. But not everyone thinks McKay will be the guy. And Peter King of NBC reported on Saturday that the league will be influencing the process. If so, we suspect that the league office will steer the Fords away from any scenario that allows Mayhew and Lewand, key components of the Millen regime, to have significant influence over the football operation. Frankly, we think that the Fords had it right by putting one guy in charge. They shouldn’t shy away from that approach simply because they hired the wrong guy.