Executive vice president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew say they want to focus the franchise on winning its next game against Chicago.
Lewand will likely be back next year for a 15th season with the Lions to help with salary-cap issues and other business matters.
Mayhew wants to be retained, but one of Millen's first hires insisted he doesn't view the opportunity as an audition.
Detroit's season seems to be over after getting routed in its first three games, but Lewand and Mayhew told beat writers on Thursday a lot can be done to salvage the year and answer critics.
"The reality is, we have 13 games to play and we're two games out of first place," Mayhew said. "We can't play the way we've played so far. But that's not scary to me being two games out of first place with 13 games left."
Millen added Mayhew, a former Washington Redskins teammate, to the front office soon after the Ford family lured him out of the broadcast booth to run the franchise.
"Matt and I have different viewpoints on a lot of things about football, but I'm a Millen guy," Mayhew said. "I've known him for 18 years. We won a Super Bowl together.
"Yesterday was a different day for me. It was a sad day. It was a good day. ... It was everything."
Lewand has done a lot for Lions ownership for more than a decade, including guiding the construction of Ford Field, and might as well be known as "Teflon Tom" because it would be stunning if he's not working for the team next year and beyond.
The University of Michigan graduate, however, is not focused on his future in the organization. He is trying to improve its culture right now.
"Our job that we started yesterday is to try to create the kind of organization that can work together toward a common goal," Lewand said. "That's really easy to say. It's extremely difficult to do."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press