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Matt Millen's son on Lions passing up DeMarcus Ware

Matt Millen's run as general manager of the Detroit Lions has become the stuff of legend.

Not the good kind of legend, of course. The Lions went 31-84 with Millen at the controls for seven-plus seasons. He was fired in the midst of the team's historic 0-16 meltdown in 2008.

A Football Life


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Millen's front-office struggles are dissected in "Matt Millen: A Football Life," which will premiere Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NFL Network. In the special, Millen's eldest son, Matthew, recalls witnessing the team's fateful decision to draft wide receiver Mike Williams over defensive end DeMarcus Ware in 2005.

"The Mike Williams draft, I got really mad at him because we had talked all up to that point about, 'DeMarcus Ware is a stud. He's going to be a great pass rusher, he would fit our scheme, and he'd be the guy that I'd take,' " Matthew Millen said, via the Detroit Free Press.

"It gets to pick 10, and there's DeMarcus Ware, so I'm thinking, 'All right, we got our guy.' And then all of a sudden, there's chatter from some other people in the room that, 'You know what, if we got this wide receiver and paired him with Roy Williams and some of the other weapons we have, we'd be a really potent offense.' And I can see his mind starting to change."

The Lions pulled the trigger on Williams, who lasted two seasons with the team. It was the third straight year Millen swung and missed on a wide receiver in the first round. The Dallas Cowboys selected Ware with the next pick.

"I'm like, 'Great, the buffoon just picked another wide receiver,' " Matthew Millen said. "That's what everyone's going to think."

Millen's shortcomings with the Lions have overshadowed a playing career in which he played 11 seasons and won Super Bowls with three different teams. It might not be fair, but it is reality.

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