Lions

Why can’t the Lions ever be winners?

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The the simple answer is pedigree because the Lions have none.

You need to reflect on this most recent Lions team and go back lets say 10 years. Off the top of my head I can look no further than last week in Arizona with Brandon Pettigrew (a first round pick who is in year five) still out on the field dropping balls which results in the death of drives.

So why is he still being counted on time and time again?

Simply put, because the Lions have too.

Detroit are the kings of justifying draft picks. Titus Young was tolerated longer than he should’ve been while a guy like Mikel Leshoure was allowed to have his off the field problems all because the Lions had no other real options at running back. The front office also doesn’t have the cache nor the clout to send guys packing and to cap it off the Lions still employ a coach that doesn’t run a tight ship while his players freely run around without discipline.

The Lions aren’t just battling themselves, Lions personal can say they aren’t all they want but the fact of the matter is they are battling history and their own set standards. From Ty Detmer’s 7 interceptions, Willie Young’s continued mistakes, recycling running backs, Pettigrew’s drops to Suh Stomps, mistakes and penalties compound into losing.

I find the Lions to be guilty of what most teams at the bottom are guilty of becoming more reactionary instead of being proactive. The Lions are always scrambling from square one to the end game, the plan is never completed and forget about back up plans. If the Lions had an injury to any position outside of QB, the drop off is varsity to junior varsity. Detroit never has depth and it’s due to poor planning and drafting. It’s the same reason why Jeff Backus was a Detroit Lion forever. Lion’s fans didn’t know any better and it got to the point where even local media and radio host would defend Backus because he didn’t give up many sacks. Unfortunately though behind Backus YOU COULDN’T ESTABLISH A RUSHING ATTACK! There isn’t an team in the NFL with a winning pedigree that would have put up with that for over a decade. The Lions don’t turn over the rosters as they should and are forced to be over loyal to players and coaches because of poor standards that are started at the top.

Standard operating procedures, that’s a term to get use to with this team. How about that gem Jim Schwartz dropped a year ago, ‘business as usual’. The standard of winning is not set here in Detroit because it’s not demanded. Detroit should have a winning football team but think about it, since the last time the Lions won a playoff game Detroit has seen their hockey team win four Stanley Cups, the Tigers go to two World Series and the Pistons have a championship and two long runs of success.

So here we are stuck with business as usual. Schwartz still has his job after losing the last 8 games last year while posting a 23-43 in 4+ years as head coach and STILL the Lions are in reverse. Even with the high draft picks the Lions were able to muster prior to Schwartz and during the current regime it’s more of the same folks, the team doesn’t just play with an edge. They play reckless and stupid and there’s a big difference between being nasty and imposing your will on a team to being dirty and undisciplined in turn costing yourself over and over again.

So as usual we see another coaching staff becomes Lionized and victims of a standard set before they agreed to become Detroit Lions coaches. Just like the front office the coaching staff can’t make adjustments in which case how many times are Lions fans going to see an offense tear down the field looking like a video game only to be countered by the opposing coaches and be shut down from there on out.

And on the defense the Lions never come back and make a secondary adjustment frankly because they aren’t very good at it. Instead it’s the coaching staff pretending to be the smartest guys in the room and  I need only point to the Lions being 20 games under .500 over the last 4+ seasons. Think about 20 games under .500 over 66 games. A football season is 16 games long and you have to be beyond terrible to make that happen. But don’t ever count out the Detroit Lions when it comes to mediocrity and disappointment.

Pointing out the flaws is too easy, that’s a big problem. The Lions have had little issue in finding stars as of late. From Suh to Stafford to Johnson Detroit has their share of NFL caliber stars.

But alas it’s still not enough.

I know what you’re thinking, another article about the Lions being awful. Well you’re right but the Lions are what they are and they’re just not very good… at all.

About Jason Bray

Detroit Sports Columist. Joined The Majors staff in 2012 covering the Detroit Lions.

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