The Lions have fast gained a reputation for being the bad boys of the NFL, highlighted by Ndamukong Suh's dirty play and underlined by an 11-penalty performance Sunday against the Saints that had Detroit center Dominic Raiola ranting about how "undisciplined" the team has become. Who's to blame for what's happening in Detroit -- coach Jim Schwartz and his staff or the players themselves?
- Jeff Darlington NFL.com
Schwartz must address this now
The line between a gritty team and a dirty one can often be paper thin, and it appears the Lions are teetering on the border lately.
Although I doubt you'd hear nearly as vocal of an outcry if they hadn't lost five of their past seven games, it nonetheless has created a situation that coach Jim Schwartz must address. I like what Schwartz has done to foster a culture of toughness for a team that had been disrespected for so many years, so I'm not going to completely shift that opinion on behalf of a few inexcusable incidents. The message from Schwartz needs to be altered -- if not altogether changed -- since his players aren't reacting in a manner that's sustainable for success.
It's time for Schwartz to get tough on his players just as they have gotten tough on other teams. Hopefully, it just doesn't include any stomping.
- Pat Kirwan NFL.com
Put onus on leaders like Vanden Bosch
I talk to Jim Schwartz every week and he is as concerned about team behavior as any head coach would be. He has talked to the team about self control and not doing things that hurt the team.
When you look at the situation, the problems are mostly on the defensive side of the ball and that tells me the defensive leaders, like Kyle Vanden Bosch, have to take control of things on the field. And it is probably time for Schwartz to sit the next guy who does something stupid in a game.
On the other hand, keep in mind Schwartz had to change a losing culture in his locker room when he got there and now it has to be throttled back.
- Steve Wyche NFL.com
Fine line between tough, dirty
This is widespread. Coach Jim Schwartz and his staff are trying to implement a new identity -- a tough identity -- and it is a fine line to teach and to adapt. Still, players know the rules and know the difference between right and wrong. This isn't the first time these guys have taken the football field.
Composure is a huge element to success and the coaching staff has to harp on that and internally discipline players who don't adhere. Raiola also needs to gather more veteran players and hold their teammates accountable. It's a fine line between being rough and being dirty, and the Lions better learn the difference.