No accountability? Lions' coaches, front office have taken necessary action
December 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm
Allen Park — There's no accountability.
I have heard this tired refrain over and over since the rash of arrests last offseason. There's no accountability with the Lions. I have heard it from fans, heard it on the talk radio, heard it during my own chats and radio interviews and I've heard it from several national analysts.
Host: What's wrong with the Lions?
Analyst: Well, first off, there's no accountability.
What a load of nonsense. Seriously, what do people even mean when they say that? Do they mean the Lions are condoning poor play or misdeeds off the field? Do they mean they are somehow helping to facilitate or enable poor play and misdeeds?
Is this about owner William Clay Ford? Is this some carry-over beef from the Matt Millen days? Because if that's it, let it go. Ford Senior hasn't been at the forefront of the decision-making process with the Lions since he fired Millen.
Bill Ford Jr. has put Tom Lewand and Martin Mayhew in place and he's wisely letting them do their job.
Are they saying that because the Lions didn't fire a coach this season there's no accountability? The Eagles have fired a couple of coaches this season; is that accountability? How's that working out for the Eagles? They are still losing games, right?Here's the proof
Let's say the Lions would have fired special teams coordinator Danny Crossman after the Lions gave up four return touchdowns in two weeks. The move would have been praised on talk radio because finally, the Lions held somebody accountable.
But what impact would that have had on the team? Assistant coach Bradford Banta would have taken over and continued to coach the same system. And look what's happened since they left Crossman to clean up the mess.
He's cleaned up the mess. Randall Cobb's 13-yard punt return Sunday night was the longest allowed by the Lions since Week 4. Their coverage units have been stellar, among the best in the league since that point.
When did this all become so Draconian? Guy makes a mistake and it's "Cut off his head!" A team goes from 0-16 to 10-6 in three years, and then because it stubs its toe in the fourth year and loses eight one-score games you want to blow it all up? Fire the head coach. Fire the coordinators.
Is that accountability? No, that's stupidity. It's the same kind of knee-jerk, irrational decision-making that led to this franchise's decade of despair (2000-2010).
Do you want Jim Schwartz to publicly berate and vilify players after games? Would that show you he is holding players accountable? That's ridiculous. All that would accomplish is team mutiny. He would lose the respect of his players.
And here's what really irks me: If anybody would bother to examine what's gone on here this season, you'd see that there is accountability at all levels of the organization.
Ask Aaron Berry if he was held accountable for his actions this offseason. This was the guy the Lions had tabbed as the starting right cornerback and they terminated his contract after two arrests, one gun-related.
Ask Johnny Culbreath and Doug Hogue about accountability. Culbreath, a seventh round pick in 2011, was released in the wake of his marijuana arrest. Hogue, a fifth round pick in 2011, was released largely because of his unenthusiastic play on special teams.
Ask Titus Young. When his immaturity became too disruptive to bear, he was first taken down by teammates and then removed from the active roster. And this wasn't some marginal player; Young was, or was supposed to be, the team's second-best receiver.
Ask Drayton Florence about accountability. He hasn't played cornerback since getting allowing LaVon Brazill to get behind him for a critical late touchdown against the Colts.
Ask Ronnell Lewis. This is a guy the Lions took in the fourth round to be a special teams warrior. He's been essentially benched since Week 4.
Ask Erik Coleman. This was a team leader, much-respected by coaches and players. But he no longer had the speed to play safety in the Lions' system and was released.Improvements evident
The Lions had 27 personal foul penalties last season. That number is down to 16 this year, with only one after the whistle foul. Does that not count as accountability?
Players are fined being late to meetings and practices. Players are fined and scolded for repeated mistakes. What more are you looking for? You want them to taser multiple offenders?
"We are confident in our program here," Schwartz said. "We're confident in our decision-making. It hasn't worked out with a good record this year but we haven't waivered in our confidence in our system or our program."
Listen, there are enough tangible things to complain about and criticize with this football team. There is no need to reach for something as nebulous and wrong-minded as firstname.lastname@example.org
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2012 ... z2F3kbEtyf