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 Lions' problems can be traced to their leader 
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Post Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
Hub is probably the only guy in Chicago sports I really respect. Not saying I agree with this column, but I thought I'd post it for discussion.

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Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
http://www.profootballweekly.com/2011/1 ... eir-leader
Posted Nov. 29, 2011 @ 6 a.m.
Posted By Hub Arkush
There is little doubt that Ndamukong Suh has reached a turning point in his NFL career as he prepares to serve the suspension he so richly deserves for his actions in the Thanksgiving Day game against the Packers. He either is the best defensive lineman in football or has the ability to be the best but hasn't gotten there yet because he insists on worrying more about building an image of himself as the baddest man around than he is in simply being the best football player he can be. But what is rapidly becoming equally clear is that Suh is nowhere near all that's wrong with the Detroit Lions, and it may, in fact, be the Lions that are what's wrong with Suh.

Following a 5-0 start to the 2011 season, the Lions have now dropped four of their last six games and have gone from Super Bowl contender to playoff long shot. One clue to who the Lions really are is that their losses are to the 49ers, Falcons, Bears and Packers, whereas their only victories over teams that now have winning records came against Chicago, which was 2-2 at the time, and Dallas, which was 2-1. A closer look at their win over the Bears reveals the Lions did everything they could to give that game away, with 12 penalties for 94 yards and minus-1 in turnover-takeaway ratio. What the young Lions revealed in victory in that Week Five Bears game was a terribly young and immature group that not only was still learning how to win but also was still finding ways to lose.

One week later, following a hard-fought loss to San Francisco, we witnessed what at the time seemed like a simple misunderstanding between head coaches at a very emotional moment. Now, with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, I believe what we really saw in Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz's angry overreaction to an admittedly exuberant backslap from 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, which nearly evolved into an all-out brawl between the two teams and coaches, reflected the real problem with the Lions.

What's wrong with the Lions is they are a young and immature organization that hasn't learned how to win yet, and it starts with Schwartz. While Suh is certainly responsible for his own actions, and it is never OK to attempt to kick or stomp an opponent, it looks to me as if Schwartz and his staff may have been acting as classic enablers. At the time, it was at least politically correct to spread the blame for the 49ers-Lions near-brawl equally between Harbaugh and Schwartz. But the reality is that all Harbaugh did was slap Schwartz on the back a little too hard following a really big win. Schwartz, on the other hand, badly overreacted, chasing Harbaugh down the field and needing to be restrained by his own players, giving us a preview of Suh's terrible overreaction to getting tangled up with Green Bay's Evan Dietrich-Smith.

Four weeks later, coming off their bye week, the Lions went into Chicago for their divisional rematch with the Bears and completely embarrassed themselves, cheap-shotting the Bears several times after it was obvious the Bears were kicking their butts, and eventually starting a brawl that led to $62,500 in fines for a number of players. I felt bad for the Lions after the game for having acted so childishly, but I heard nothing from Schwartz in his postgame comments that indicated he shared my feelings.

Marty Mayhew has been one of the best GMs in the league over the last few years, assembling the outstanding young talent he has in Detroit. Schwartz has been an excellent defensive coach for years and appears to be doing a really nice job of developing the talent Mayhew has given him — physically. And when Suh acts like a street thug on the field, that's on him, not Schwartz.

Yet, when Suh and a number of his teammates consistently play after the whistle and on the fringes of the NFL's rules governing violence and sportsmanship, earning the label they now have of a "dirty team," that's on the head coach. There is no defending Suh, but there's also no hope he'll get better until his coach starts setting the right example and teaching him the right way to play the game.

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November 28th, 2011, 10:49 am
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
First off anyone that respects Hub obviously does not live in Chicago. Even Bears fans laugh at this bufoon. He is a homer to the last and usually is not that well informed about Bear issues. This article is more of the same. His superior, condesending attitude about what other organizations should aspire to is complete garbage. The game he refers to with the Bears and how he "felt sorry" for the Lions following the game due to their immature showing. How about Lance Briggs cheap shot on one of the leagues best players? Yesterday I watched the Bears, hoping they would lose, and saw many reasons to "feel sorry" for Lance Briggs and others on the Bears. There were at least 3 times when he either was late, out of bounds or lead with his head. I am so tired of the Lions being judged when many other teams and players do the same if not worse. The joker that came at Stafford while he was on the ground, does anyone "feel sorry" about him embarassing himself (and the haircut). This is just another attempt by the NFL and its disciples to try and rebrand the game as a finess contest and not a violent contest that puts men against each other who fight for every yard they can gain, using any advantage they can. Lastly was the pain involved listening to ex-players like Michael Irvin and Warren Sapp talk about how mature and well mannered they were as players and Suh should emulate them. I watched those two play and one was classless and the other was always one of the dirtiest players in the league. I am glad that when I played this game that you could play with an edge and it was seen as a good thing, otherwise I would have been watching more then playing.


November 28th, 2011, 11:47 am
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
I agree with the article completely, I've stated as such before, predicted these problems coming down the pipeline, and WOW... Here they are!!!

Like I said before, what some call "playing with passion," I call playing undiciplined. You don't see Billicheck's players playing this way, and I would hardly call them impassionate. There's no excuse for it, and it doesn't give us any "edge." It makes us look like insecure bullies that need to cheap shot to win. I hate it.


November 28th, 2011, 12:52 pm
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
Given that Schwartz has built the first competitive Lions team in well over a decade, and did so after inheriting the worst NFL team in history, my reaction to the criticism is "big deal." I'm completely in favor of giving Schwartz a contract extension in the offseason. I hope he's the coach for the next decade or so.

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November 28th, 2011, 1:12 pm
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
mwill2 wrote:
Given that Schwartz has built the first competitive Lions team in well over a decade, and did so after inheriting the worst NFL team in history, my reaction to the criticism is "big deal." I'm completely in favor of giving Schwartz a contract extension in the offseason. I hope he's the coach for the next decade or so.


Why set our sights so low? I have said before that we'll probably need a "stepping stone coach," a coach to get us out of the basement, fix the mess that we were in, and move on. Unless Schwartz changes his approach, and the team's approach to games I personally don't think we will be SB contenders. Why not look and see if someone is better at the end of his contract? The 49ers had tons of talent and a crappy coach. They made little more than a coaching change and wen't from a HORRIBLE team to a VERY GOOD team. We are in the process of adding talent, and we've came a long way. Match that talent with the right coach and we'll have something special.


November 28th, 2011, 1:28 pm
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
It's not a matter of setting sights low. The team has steadily improved since Schwartz took over. They're on the verge of the playoffs right now! Any success the Lions have had this year is a direct result of Jim Schwartz, who built this team from scratch. And regarding a coaching "upgrade"--why is Bill Cowher considered an "elite" coach? Because he was a first-time head coach who built a long-term winner. That's precisely what Mayhew, Schwartz, & Co. are attempting to do. The progress so far has been undeniable. It's worth noting, by the way, that Cowher, Mike Shanahan, Jeff Fisher, and Mike Holmgren all had some mediocre/poor seasons--their organizations stuck with them and earned playoff wins.

I'm being a bit hyperbolic by suggesting Schwartz be extended for a decade but I do think he should be extended. This year's Lions team is the best I've seen in a long, long time and this team is indeed a reflection of its coach. Right now, yes, the Lions are getting bad press and their nasty attitude can certainly be tied to Schwartz. However, getting lost in the conversation is the fact that the Lions are winning. If we're going to blame the "dirtiness" on Schwartz, we must also credit him for steady progress, a huge increase in talent, and more wins than we've seen a very long time. It looks to me that Schwartz is executing a plan for a long-term winner that plays with a nasty attitude. Pittsburgh and Baltimore have used this formula for more than a decade and both franchises field consistently good, championship caliber teams. I think Mayhew and Schwartz can do the same.

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November 28th, 2011, 2:31 pm
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
thelomasbrowns wrote:
Hub is probably the only guy in Chicago sports I really respect. Not saying I agree with this column, but I thought I'd post it for discussion.

Quote:
Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
http://www.profootballweekly.com/2011/1 ... eir-leader
Posted Nov. 29, 2011 @ 6 a.m.
Posted By Hub Arkush
There is little doubt that Ndamukong Suh has reached a turning point in his NFL career as he prepares to serve the suspension he so richly deserves for his actions in the Thanksgiving Day game against the Packers. He either is the best defensive lineman in football or has the ability to be the best but hasn't gotten there yet because he insists on worrying more about building an image of himself as the baddest man around than he is in simply being the best football player he can be. But what is rapidly becoming equally clear is that Suh is nowhere near all that's wrong with the Detroit Lions, and it may, in fact, be the Lions that are what's wrong with Suh.

Following a 5-0 start to the 2011 season, the Lions have now dropped four of their last six games and have gone from Super Bowl contender to playoff long shot. One clue to who the Lions really are is that their losses are to the 49ers, Falcons, Bears and Packers, whereas their only victories over teams that now have winning records came against Chicago, which was 2-2 at the time, and Dallas, which was 2-1. A closer look at their win over the Bears reveals the Lions did everything they could to give that game away, with 12 penalties for 94 yards and minus-1 in turnover-takeaway ratio. What the young Lions revealed in victory in that Week Five Bears game was a terribly young and immature group that not only was still learning how to win but also was still finding ways to lose.

One week later, following a hard-fought loss to San Francisco, we witnessed what at the time seemed like a simple misunderstanding between head coaches at a very emotional moment. Now, with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, I believe what we really saw in Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz's angry overreaction to an admittedly exuberant backslap from 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, which nearly evolved into an all-out brawl between the two teams and coaches, reflected the real problem with the Lions.

What's wrong with the Lions is they are a young and immature organization that hasn't learned how to win yet, and it starts with Schwartz. While Suh is certainly responsible for his own actions, and it is never OK to attempt to kick or stomp an opponent, it looks to me as if Schwartz and his staff may have been acting as classic enablers. At the time, it was at least politically correct to spread the blame for the 49ers-Lions near-brawl equally between Harbaugh and Schwartz. But the reality is that all Harbaugh did was slap Schwartz on the back a little too hard following a really big win. Schwartz, on the other hand, badly overreacted, chasing Harbaugh down the field and needing to be restrained by his own players, giving us a preview of Suh's terrible overreaction to getting tangled up with Green Bay's Evan Dietrich-Smith.

Four weeks later, coming off their bye week, the Lions went into Chicago for their divisional rematch with the Bears and completely embarrassed themselves, cheap-shotting the Bears several times after it was obvious the Bears were kicking their butts, and eventually starting a brawl that led to $62,500 in fines for a number of players. I felt bad for the Lions after the game for having acted so childishly, but I heard nothing from Schwartz in his postgame comments that indicated he shared my feelings.

Marty Mayhew has been one of the best GMs in the league over the last few years, assembling the outstanding young talent he has in Detroit. Schwartz has been an excellent defensive coach for years and appears to be doing a really nice job of developing the talent Mayhew has given him — physically. And when Suh acts like a street thug on the field, that's on him, not Schwartz.

Yet, when Suh and a number of his teammates consistently play after the whistle and on the fringes of the NFL's rules governing violence and sportsmanship, earning the label they now have of a "dirty team," that's on the head coach. There is no defending Suh, but there's also no hope he'll get better until his coach starts setting the right example and teaching him the right way to play the game.



Hub isn't the only person who feels this way, Dungy does too.


The Detroit News wrote:
November 28. 2011 12:17PM.

Tony Dungy blames Lions' coaches for Ndamukong Suh's problems

The Detroit News

Former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy says the Lions organization and its coaches are partly to blame for the on-field discipline problems demonstrated by defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

"I really have to fault the Detroit organization," Dungy said Monday on the Dan Patrick radio show. "I think they really could have stopped this. I think they could have made a preemptive strike and said, 'Hey, we've got to get this player under control.'"

During Thursday's loss to Green Bay, Suh pushed the head of guard Evan Dietrich-Smith into the turf three times and then stomped on the player's arm. Suh, who was ejected from the game, has seven personal fouls in 1.5 NFL seasons.

Suh is expected to be suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week. Dungy, currently a NFL analyst for NBC, said Goodell prefers not to suspend players because he doesn't like to change the competitive balance on the field. But Dungy said Goodell might have to suspend Suh since Suh is a repeat offender.

"He's a great player; he plays with high energy," Dungy said of Suh. "But they need to do a better job of channeling it in the right direction. I think that starts with the coaching staff and the organization."

Click HERE to hear Patrick's entire interview with Dungy.


From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20111128/SPO ... z1f1jodI2D


I'm not prepared to have Schwartz canned over this any more than I'm prepared to see him resigned for 10 years. Both extremes are absurd! But I do agree that Schwartz has the ability to shape Suh's approach to the game and he needs to get this under control right away.

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November 28th, 2011, 2:48 pm
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
LionFan57 wrote:
I'm not prepared to have Schwartz canned over this any more than I'm prepared to see him resigned for 10 years. Both extremes are absurd! But I do agree that Schwartz has the ability to shape Suh's approach to the game and he needs to get this under control right away.
Agreed!
Another level-headed post by LF57.

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November 28th, 2011, 2:56 pm
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
wjb21ndtown wrote:
mwill2 wrote:
Given that Schwartz has built the first competitive Lions team in well over a decade, and did so after inheriting the worst NFL team in history, my reaction to the criticism is "big deal." I'm completely in favor of giving Schwartz a contract extension in the offseason. I hope he's the coach for the next decade or so.


Why set our sights so low? I have said before that we'll probably need a "stepping stone coach," a coach to get us out of the basement, fix the mess that we were in, and move on. Unless Schwartz changes his approach, and the team's approach to games I personally don't think we will be SB contenders. Why not look and see if someone is better at the end of his contract? The 49ers had tons of talent and a crappy coach. They made little more than a coaching change and wen't from a HORRIBLE team to a VERY GOOD team. We are in the process of adding talent, and we've came a long way. Match that talent with the right coach and we'll have something special.


Yep. Coaching changes have worked so well for us. Let's just start all over with a new Coaching staff. What has happened this year with the 49ers is a very rare thing. 99% of the time a Coaching change means getting rid of players from the previous regime. Yep, Sounds like a plan.


November 28th, 2011, 3:12 pm
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
mwill2 wrote:
It's not a matter of setting sights low. The team has steadily improved since Schwartz took over. They're on the verge of the playoffs right now! Any success the Lions have had this year is a direct result of Jim Schwartz, who built this team from scratch. And regarding a coaching "upgrade"--why is Bill Cowher considered an "elite" coach? Because he was a first-time head coach who built a long-term winner. That's precisely what Mayhew, Schwartz, & Co. are attempting to do. The progress so far has been undeniable. It's worth noting, by the way, that Cowher, Mike Shanahan, Jeff Fisher, and Mike Holmgren all had some mediocre/poor seasons--their organizations stuck with them and earned playoff wins.

I'm being a bit hyperbolic by suggesting Schwartz be extended for a decade but I do think he should be extended. This year's Lions team is the best I've seen in a long, long time and this team is indeed a reflection of its coach. Right now, yes, the Lions are getting bad press and their nasty attitude can certainly be tied to Schwartz. However, getting lost in the conversation is the fact that the Lions are winning. If we're going to blame the "dirtiness" on Schwartz, we must also credit him for steady progress, a huge increase in talent, and more wins than we've seen a very long time. It looks to me that Schwartz is executing a plan for a long-term winner that plays with a nasty attitude. Pittsburgh and Baltimore have used this formula for more than a decade and both franchises field consistently good, championship caliber teams. I think Mayhew and Schwartz can do the same.


Schwartz is in year 2 of a 5 year deal, right? I don't dispute that we're playing better, I don't dispute that we're not on the verge of making the playoffs, but why extend Schwartz before the end of his deal not knowing if 1) he can even get us to the playoffs, 2) if these problems are going to continue, and 3) if we really believe he can win us a SB?

Mayhew built this team from scratch, not Schwartz. Schwartz's job is to get the most out of his talent. The most vocal player that Schwartz had an influence in drafting seems to be Best, and he was a BUST. Schwartz's role in this thing, that is, whether or not he gets the most out of his talent, remains to be seen.

Schwartz certainly isn't getting the most out of Suh, costing us drives, points, and suspensions. He certainly didn't get the most out of Best, you could argue that an injury is out of Schwartz's control, but you could also argue that Schwartz believed (and acted on the belief) that Best could used a heck of a lot more than he should have been. Best was better suited to play the 3rd down back tweener role that his body is meant to play, but Schwartz was convinced that he could run the ball 15 times a game and stay healthy. That was clearly inaccurate.

Schwartz may be "the guy" or he may have reached his peak. The jury is still out. One thing is certain, he's going to have to change his ways, and the way he runs this team if he is going to take us to the next level. You're counting on a 45 year old man to grow up and mature. I'm thinking he's about where he's going to be. Could he take us further with more talent? Sure... Will he ever correct this thuggish BS that's holding us back? Doubtful.


November 28th, 2011, 3:16 pm
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
Actually Schwartz is in year 3 of his deal, other than that I agree with WJB. Unless he wins the championship why rush to extend him? Coaches don't switch teams when their contracts expire, they resign with their existing teams. If does great for the rest of his contract, perhaps he gets a few more $ - but who cares, he earned it and it won't count against the cap.

There is a lot to like about Schwartz, hopefully this young coach continues to develop and can lead this team for years to come. Extending his contract now would have little impact on that.

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November 28th, 2011, 3:23 pm
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
It seems that all non-Lions fans agree that Schwartz is the problem. You either condemn the actions of your players, or you condone them. Schwartz obviously isn't condemning them, and that's going to cause problems. Undisciplined = mistakes. Mistakes = no Super Bowl.

That's your objective right? A Super Bowl, not just playoffs. I look at Super Bowl winning coaches, and they all have disciplined teams. They talk, players listen and respond accordingly. If anyone screws off or makes a mistakes, then goodbye.

Schwartz, while he might be a GOOD coach, isn't going to be good enough to bring this team a Super Bowl trophy at this rate. And once you lose a team, it's almost impossible to get it back.

You may hate my opinion, but he needs to be replaced if you want to win a Super Bowl. Playoffs? Sure he'll get you to the playoffs once or twice, but that's it. He's so damn angry. And you know how the saying goes: "Players reflect their coaches". Look at the Jets, Patriots, Colts, etc. Teams that behave just like their coaches. This is no different.

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November 28th, 2011, 3:27 pm
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
49ers wrote:
It seems that all non-Lions fans agree that Schwartz is the problem. You either condemn the actions of your players, or you condone them. Schwartz obviously isn't condemning them, and that's going to cause problems. Undisciplined = mistakes. Mistakes = no Super Bowl.

That's your objective right? A Super Bowl, not just playoffs. I look at Super Bowl winning coaches, and they all have disciplined teams. They talk, players listen and respond accordingly. If anyone screws off or makes a mistakes, then goodbye.

Schwartz, while he might be a GOOD coach, isn't going to be good enough to bring this team a Super Bowl trophy at this rate. And once you lose a team, it's almost impossible to get it back.

You may hate my opinion, but he needs to be replaced if you want to win a Super Bowl. Playoffs? Sure he'll get you to the playoffs once or twice, but that's it. He's so damn angry. And you know how the saying goes: "Players reflect their coaches". Look at the Jets, Patriots, Colts, etc. Teams that behave just like their coaches. This is no different.


No offense. But, just who asked you? I am just sick of every Tom, Dick, and Harry from outside the Lions weighing in with their personal flawless advice. Take it to the next window and let us fix ourselves. Thank you.


November 28th, 2011, 3:35 pm
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
BillySims wrote:
No offense. But, just who asked you? I am just sick of every Tom, Dick, and Harry from outside the Lions weighing in with their personal flawless advice. Take it to the next window and let us fix ourselves. Thank you.


This is a FORUM Billy. Not exclusive to Lions fans, but football fans. If you don't like it........

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November 28th, 2011, 4:06 pm
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Post Re: Lions' problems can be traced to their leader
This whole conversation is stupid as hell. I understand the whole concept of a team being a reflection of their leader... I get it. But, if this had happened when the Lions were winning 45-10 against Denver and Suh stomped on Tebow's arm, we would all be saying how great it was and blah blah blah. Winning heals everything and the fact that the Lions have gone 2-4 in their last 6 we're getting antsy and reactionary. Let's all chill the F out and realize that Suh has to take responsibility for his actions, and Schwartz, while fiery, does not in any way condone reckless or stupid behavior, as is the assumption by lots of posters.

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November 28th, 2011, 4:11 pm
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