Might as well call them the Detroit Bengals.
This weekend, Lions’ corner Aaron Berry joined the list of arrested players in Detroit. The list now totals six arrests and four different players, drawing comparisons to another oft-arrested team.
People make bad decisions. People get arrested, I get it. But this situation has gone from a few mistakes to a rough offseason to a downright debacle.
The Lions now have media all over them, myself included. The bad press will certainly lead to a shaken locker room for a team with such questionable discipline. The fact that Berry was out driving drunk into parked cars at 4:45am is truly embarrassing. This is something his teammates will pick up on, his coaches will have to deal with, and he will have to live with.
The Lions will have to gather the ragged pieces of this team and win games, or face an upset fan-base with high expectations. Detroit fans have had a taste of victory now, and won’t want to relinquish that feeling.
The suspensions have started to rain down on the Lions, beginning with Mikel Leshoure’s two-gamer that he will serve in the season’s first two games against the Rams and 49ers. The league is still waiting to decide Nick Fairley’s fate, but expect him to be on the bench with Leshoure. Fairley, like Leshoure, has been arrested twice this offseason.
The Lions lead the NFL in offseason arrests, and at one point earlier this month, Detroit players accounted for 24% of all offseason arrests.
Jim Schwartz has to take control of this team, plain and simple. If he doesn’t step up and lead this team forward, they face stepping severely backward this year. I do not doubt the Lions’ talent, but if it becomes commonplace to break the rules, a playoff run is a long way out of sight.
Let’s hope the Lions can look ahead to this season and leave this trainwreck in the rear-view mirror.
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