Schwartz appeals to Lions players to take accountability

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Monday that he spoke with team captains Kyle Vanden Bosch, Dominic Raiola, Matthew Stafford and Jason Hanson on the plane ride back from New Orleans after Sunday's 31-17 loss to the Saints.

According to the team's website, Schwartz wouldn't go into the subject of the conversation, but it's a safe bet that it had to do with penalties.

Even with defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh serving a two-game suspension, the Detroit Lions still committed a handful of troubling penalties in Sunday's game, including a personal foul on tight end Brandon Pettigrew for making contact with an official, an unnecessary roughness call on rookie receiver Titus Young deep in Saints territory and an unsportsmanlike conduct foul on punt returner Stefan Logan.

"Obviously, everything on the field is a reflection of the organization, it's a reflection of the head coach, it's a reflection of all the coaches, it's a reflection of the players," Schwartz said Monday. "It's not a presentation we want. It's something that puts a team in a bad position, and selfish play won't be tolerated."

After a 5-0 start, the Lions have lost five of their last seven games and are in danger of missing the playoffs if they don't turn it around.

"We have four left to go and we need to make sure that, in those games, if we're not ahead in the score, it's not because of something we did, it's something that our opponents did," Schwartz said. "Every opponent has outstanding players. There are opponents that are going to make plays. What we need to make sure is that we make our plays and that we also don't negate our plays with penalties."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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