If your favorite team is near the bottom of the standings and it looks as if there's no hope, you need only look to the Falcons and Dolphins of '08 for encouragement. Coming into the season, it was a foregone conclusion that Atlanta would be the worst team in the NFL. New head coach, new GM, rookie QB, coming off a 4-12 season...it all spelled disaster. Yet, we're now going into Week 17 and the Falcons have a chance to earn the two seed in the NFC! How'd they do it? They cleaned house. The first step was hiring Thomas Dimitroff for the GM position. This guy was in the New England franchise as Director of Scouting, and he drafted players like Laurence Maroney, Vincent Wilfork, Asante Samuel, and Ellis Hobbs. He knows how to evaluate talent and he comes from a winning franchise. There were a lot of questions with Matt Ryan, but Dimitroff knew what he was doing and Ryan has gone on to have an MVP-like season as a ROOKIE. And of course, he was able to sign Michael Turner, who is second in rushing yards in the NFL. And lastly, the Falcons took a chance on little known Mike Smith, the DC in Jacksonville. He just may earn Coach of the Year honors. And then there's Miami, who was coming off a year where they won only one game. What'd they do? They cleaned house. They hired Bill Parcells to come in and overhaul their franchise. He hired Tony Sparano, a little-known assistant coach from Dallas. He got rid of dead weight and distractions (Jason Taylor). The Dolphins now control their own destiny going into Week 17, and with a win over the Jets, they'll clinch the AFC East. Who would have thought, at the beginning of the season, that Chad Pennington would have the opportunity to go back to New York the last week of the season and win the division? Probably Bill Parcells, and that's it. So what's my point? Teams like Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland, St. Louis, etc....it doesn't have to be a long process (like in college) to rebuild the franchise. Just look to Atlanta and Miami, and they've turned it around in one offseason! But you've gotta be willing to make changes, in your front office, your coaching staff, and you've gotta draft well. You have to evaluate talent well, otherwise you're screwed in this league. I've heard that the Ford family in Detroit is going to keep the front office intact for the Lions. They're even thinking of bringing back Rod Marinelli. I just don't understand how you can do that if you want to win. If you want to start over, make changes! Look to the Atlanta/Miami blueprint for assistance.