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Nate Burleson: Maturity part of Detroit Lions' start

Apparently, maturity can be a detriment on the football field.

Who knew?

The Detroit Lions had a, let's call it, tumultuous offseason with seven arrests or citations. Management demanded the team be accountable for their actions and even cut cornerback Aaron Berry after a second arrest - that one involving a firearm.

"We had a lot of discipline issues in the offseason, and we started to tighten up because the perception of this organization started to change," receiver Nate Burleson told the Detroit Free Press. "What we worked for was getting torn down, and we wanted to be more of a mature team. But finding that maturity off the field can't compromise who we are on the field. And who we are on the field are the bad guys. ... We're the ones that nobody wants to see succeed, and we like it that way. We play better that way.

"I think everybody took it in their own hands to be better men off the field and that followed us a little bit on the field. But I think we're back where we need to be."

The Lions had no trouble ditching the discipline when they stacked up 132 penalty yards on 16 flags against the Eagles. Did the Lions embrace their inner wild-child when they managed just six points in the first three quarters and fell behind 20-6? Would the me-against-the-world attitude be touted if Michael Vick had converted a late third-and-4 to essentially seal the game? Did it affect the ridiculous Calvin Johnson reception that set up the rally?

Burleson's point was the team has regained that chip on their shoulder. The ability to not get arrested, however, shouldn't have affected that in the first place.

One would think.

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