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Cliff Avril: Lions play football the way it’s meant to be played

San Francisco 49ers v Detroit Lions Getty Images

After Ndamukong Suh’s Thanksgiving stomp was followed by a flag-filled loss in New Orleans, the Lions garnered a reputation around the league as a team whose dirty plays and stupid mistakes were taking a serious toll.

But Lions defensive end Cliff Avril told Albert Breer of NFL Network that the reality is different: The Lions play with the kind of tough, physical style that everyone should appreciate.

I think we play the game the way it’s supposed to be played,” Avril said. “We’re not trying to hurt anybody. But we are trying to make a lot of big plays.”

Avril said the Lions are watching out for each other to make sure that if players get mad on the field, they handle it the right way.

“I know there are times out there when I might have spazzed out, and teammates had to stop me,” he said. “Guys know the small things to get underneath your skin as a player. But I’m learning that the best way to get someone back is to make a play. For me, getting a sack, that’s a better way to get them back.”

With the Lions currently clinging to the sixth seed in the NFC playoff race, they’d be wise to follow the “get a sack to get them back” approach, rather than the “stomp on him to get him back” approach.

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59 Responses to “Cliff Avril: Lions play football the way it’s meant to be played”
  1. j972 says: Dec 15, 2011 6:56 PM

    Actually, Cliff, it’s meant to be played a lot better than 8-5 (headed for 9-7).

  2. waxedagain says: Dec 15, 2011 6:57 PM

    The poor Lions are fading fast.

  3. bobcat252525 says: Dec 15, 2011 6:58 PM

    With everything else goung on in the nfl, i.e. Hurd, harrison, and other people in trouble this what u r reporting on. Really. What a bunch of crap.

  4. miamidolphins1 says: Dec 15, 2011 6:59 PM

    i would cliff avril for the most part, i like teams that play tough and physical football, not soft like goodell wants.

    however, what suh does is dirty. stomping on a players head 3 times after the play is not a football play, it has nothing to do with the play.

    i got no problem with hard hits, i like it actually, but what suh does is not football.

  5. musiccitymiracle says: Dec 15, 2011 6:59 PM

    This actually sounds really sensible compared to the idiotic ravings of James Harrison and Steeler nation.

  6. captainwisdom8888 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:01 PM

    im down with the stafford to calvin connection, very exciting to watch. cant stand suh or schwartz. at all. “the man upstairs knows i didnt mean to stomp on him, and thats all that matters” – Suh

    =weak sauce

  7. crefan says: Dec 15, 2011 7:02 PM

    Dirty??????

  8. captainwisdom8888 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:03 PM

    yea and dolphins1, nobody’s head got stomped on 3 times, you dont know what ur talking about

  9. phillyrick22 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:10 PM

    very true, football is a physical sport. I do agree with watching out for head injuries, but we cant turn football into futbol… I dont agree with the suspension of Harrison either! He did knock McCoy out, but how many times have we seen hits like this?

  10. righton989 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:11 PM

    Not to worry Cliffie Advil, Swartzie will make sure you get your daily dose of ‘roids even if Hurdy Gurdy bust cuts off your rec supply.

  11. frankdatank23 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:14 PM

    yeah football players are “supposed” to be idiots…..

  12. gosuhgo says: Dec 15, 2011 7:14 PM

    Say what you want but you can’t say they aren’t fun to watch.

  13. otis52gsh says: Dec 15, 2011 7:16 PM

    Comments like that prove they still just don’t get it. WOW!!

  14. ocdn says: Dec 15, 2011 7:19 PM

    The Lions haters begin their rants in 3..2…1

  15. Soulman45 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:21 PM

    Spoken like a true champ which
    THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS
    will be this year.
    Yours Truly
    Soulman45

  16. gadgetdawg says: Dec 15, 2011 7:23 PM

    Actually the Packers ‘play the game the way it’s supposed to be played’ at the moment. The Patriots did it for most of 2009 and so did the Dolphins back in 1972. Detroit stopped ‘play(ing) the game the way it’s supposed to be played’ back on 10/16 when they met San Fran.

    Don’t worry Cliff, you’ll get another shot next year.

  17. sws222 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:25 PM

    OK….so now it’s Suh stomped on a guys head 3 times? What’s next….Suh pulled a crowbar out of his pants and killed a guy?

    See what I’m sayin’, MDS?

  18. miamidolphins1 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:29 PM

    captainwisdom8888 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:03 PM

    yea and dolphins1, nobody’s head got stomped on 3 times, you dont know what ur talking about

    fine, maybe it wasnt 3 times, sorry i wasnt exactly dead on ”captainwisdom”

  19. fcs34 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:29 PM

    Yes when I think of the Lions I always think of football being played the right way.

  20. rrbernier says: Dec 15, 2011 7:33 PM

    When the hit is meant to hurt your opponet it’s wrong. Hit to win, not to hurt, there is a difference. I have seen Suh replays from last year that guy should be banned. In my opinion he was trying to break someones neck. That’s not how the game is supposed to be played.

  21. miamidolphins1 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:36 PM

    sws222 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:25 PM

    OK….so now it’s Suh stomped on a guys head 3 times? What’s next….Suh pulled a crowbar out of his pants and killed a guy?

    See what I’m sayin’, MDS?

    yes i see what your saying man, its all good

  22. rayguyreturns says: Dec 15, 2011 7:36 PM

    So what’s the current line on this Sundays game for penalties called?

    This could shape up into the longest game in NFL history. There will be more laundry on the field than in a laundry mat.

    The only thing missing will be Walt Coleman.

  23. miamidolphins1 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:43 PM

    phillyrick22 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:10 PM

    very true, football is a physical sport. I do agree with watching out for head injuries, but we cant turn football into futbol… I dont agree with the suspension of Harrison either! He did knock McCoy out, but how many times have we seen hits like this?

    agreed. harrison should be playing monday night, its a crime if hes not

  24. ezwriter69 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:49 PM

    “I think we play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”
    I think you’re too bone headed stupid to learn from your mistakes, and you will continue to hurt your team with stupid penalties.

  25. ryancloud says: Dec 15, 2011 7:50 PM

    Dolphins1,

    His point was that nobody’s head got stomped on even once.

  26. eddieapoc says: Dec 15, 2011 7:54 PM

    It cracks me up how all these people are jumping Avril’s case for stuff that Suh did.

    Bunch of internet tough guys in this thread.

  27. playitfunky says: Dec 15, 2011 7:55 PM

    Notice how once the Lions disrespected Tebow bad things started happening to them?

  28. eddieapoc says: Dec 15, 2011 8:00 PM

    Suh stomped on some guy. He isn’t the first or last person to do something bad.

    Life goes on.

    Lions are going to the playoffs.

    Deal with it.

  29. tdrundmc says: Dec 15, 2011 8:02 PM

    waxedagain says:
    Dec 15, 2011 6:57 PM
    The poor Lions are fading fast.

    Um, their 8-5 and control their own destiny. Doesn’t look like fading to me. Turd

  30. edge121 says: Dec 15, 2011 8:04 PM

    LOL

    M.D.S has a Teboner for the Lions haters. First the Suh article yesterday, and now jumping onto Avril today.

    You know, I was upset, even a little ashamed about Suh’s stomp on Thanksgiving. But after seeing all the trolls line up and post the same old lame comments about the Lions being dirty, I’m starting to be glad we have that reputation.

    I’d rather my Lions be aggressive and play with an attitude than cater to a bunch of soft nancyboys whose only contact with the game of football has been through TV and the internet.

  31. johnnycash19 says: Dec 15, 2011 8:14 PM

    Cliff Avril is in for a HUGE pay day after this season. It seems like every time he gets a sack he forces a fumble, I believe he has 9 sacks with 6 forced fumbles. That’s what I call a playmaker.

  32. #nastyswaggedout says: Dec 15, 2011 8:17 PM

    miamidolphins1 says:
    Dec 15, 2011 7:29 PM
    captainwisdom8888 says: Dec 15, 2011 7:03 PM

    yea and dolphins1, nobody’s head got stomped on 3 times, you dont know what ur talking about

    fine, maybe it wasnt 3 times, sorry i wasnt exactly dead on ”captainwisdom”

    Head = arm apparently. He pushed his head into the ground. Stomped on his arm.

  33. deeestroit says: Dec 15, 2011 8:28 PM

    Cliff Avril is a beast! Go Lions.

  34. jc1958cool says: Dec 15, 2011 8:31 PM

    packers 13-0 that’s the way football should be played!! green & gold repeat avril idiot

  35. tommytd says: Dec 15, 2011 8:41 PM

    I ain’t buying it – Same old Lions, they suck.

  36. turdfurgerson68 says: Dec 15, 2011 8:55 PM

    HELLS YES!!!!

  37. gb4mn0 says: Dec 15, 2011 9:21 PM

    tdrundmc says:
    Dec 15, 2011 8:02 PM
    waxedagain says:
    Dec 15, 2011 6:57 PM
    The poor Lions are fading fast.

    Um, their 8-5 and control their own destiny. Doesn’t look like fading to me. Turd

    —————————————-
    Yea, well it’s becoming obvious that the droppings from the detroit kitty box are every bit as delusional as the Helga hat wearing gender benders from MN.

    After starting out 5-0 and since going 3-5 would by most rational and reasoned persons be defined as “fading fast!”

  38. jarrman46 says: Dec 15, 2011 9:26 PM

    What do the Detriot Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers have in common?
    Their both recent reciepiants of butt kickings by the real world champs, The Green Bay Packers!!

  39. otis52gsh says: Dec 15, 2011 9:28 PM

    THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS?? Really?? They are the only team in the NFL to this day, to not win 1 game in an entire season right? They may be LUCKY enough to get into the playoffs, but only because the Bears lost cutler and forte. One and done no doubt. Wait until the lions don’t have that cupcake like they did this year. Still the joke of the NFC north. 0-16 that’s funny stuff.

  40. dachozen1 says: Dec 15, 2011 9:36 PM

    Does it matter?? This is not football anyway and they will never be as greatas the real teams. This is video spread em out wwf style, synchroniz­ed entertainm­ent where the referees are the judges. The outcome is predicted depending on how your team is built. Defenses are there to be clowned like the generals going against the harlem globe trotters. Marino’s records hold up for yrs and today average qbs are chasing him. Goodell has turned this league into a joke and it’s beyond me why it’s still called football.

  41. harleypuppy says: Dec 15, 2011 9:48 PM

    The Lions have not won o title since when I don’t know every league needs a team like the Lions laugh at them make fun at them but never root for them case in point the Lions fans have a chip on their shoulders and got what if you can’t do it right don’t do it at all.

  42. mattolikesthevikes says: Dec 15, 2011 9:59 PM

    I must have missed A day of practice in high school when the taught me to pound someone ones head into the ground after the play then step on their arm with my cleats.

  43. ray0414 says: Dec 15, 2011 10:08 PM

    hate to break it to all the lion haters, but this team is only a few players away from being pretty kick ass. only thing that might stop them is the salary cap. nick fairley hasnt been healthy the entire season, but next year when his foot is healed watch out, he dominated the first quarter against the saints before reaggrivating his foot. if leshoure bounces back next year to have a good year itll put best and kevin smith in very good “smaller roles” and hopefully it keeps best healthy. and as for stafford i think he put all the glass theories behind him the dude has gotten rocked all season and pops right back up. in his first full season he’s putting up really good numbers.

  44. raiderapologist says: Dec 15, 2011 10:14 PM

    Before Suh got suspended he got pissed off about something during a game and stomped off the field, kicking a trash can over on the sideline. Some of the garbage landed in Vanden Bosch’s helmet. Vanden Bosch just scooped the trash out of his helmet, gave Suh a sideways glance, and waited to get back on the field. One of those guys is a football player, and one of them is a bitch.

  45. justaintrightisit says: Dec 15, 2011 10:36 PM

    rayo414……..you are right, the Lions are one or two players away from being one of the elite teams. As a Packer fan that team is a scary team, but even with the one or two players they will still have the same problem if they can’t control themselves on the field and stop with all the stupid penalties, when and IF they stop the stupid penalties they will be a force for some years ahead.

  46. noeffinway says: Dec 15, 2011 10:44 PM

    You need to find a new hobby MDS. Your continual bashing of the Lions is getting old.

  47. Mike Klingensmith says: Dec 15, 2011 10:50 PM

    Cliff Avril is quietly having a monster year.

  48. demo1984 says: Dec 15, 2011 11:03 PM

    The Lions play the way it is supposed to be played. Hell they even go above and beyond that . Suh will even help you off with your helmet.

  49. arnoldziffel says: Dec 15, 2011 11:13 PM

    Playing the game the way it’s meant to be played …

    Ahhh … the silly silly lions.

    At the beginning of the season, I thought it would be kind of nice to see a young team start coming of age but good grief, I’m afraid this bunch is flunking kindergarten.

    Back in the diapers boys … you need more seasoning. This hip hop football thing you’ve got going ain’t working.

    All mouth and no go.

  50. Andre's Johnson says: Dec 15, 2011 11:19 PM

    I wonder how a coach like, say, Tony Dungy would fair with the Lions. I’m not saying Dungy’s necessarily a better X’s/O’s guy than Schwartz. But he’s such a calm dude. I’m an AFC South guy, and I can’t ever remember a Colts player headhunting or getting a bunch of personal fouls or getting suspended or any of that crap. I think Manning has a lot to do with it, but generally that sort of personal restraint and discipline starts from the top. I continue to think Schwartz is part of the problem.

  51. 5chan says: Dec 15, 2011 11:24 PM

    Committing careless penalties at inopportune times is how football is meant to be played?

  52. rkolenda says: Dec 15, 2011 11:33 PM

    Way to keep this non story going. Let it go already and find something else to write about. Maybe you can write something about Tebow.

  53. demo1984 says: Dec 15, 2011 11:39 PM

    rayo414, Did you forget that Fairleys foot was messed up last year and has been since the Lions drafted him so what makes you think he will be healthy next year ??, Best will NEVER be back because he has had numerous concusions dating back to college so you will never get a season out of him. Kevin Smith has missed 19 games the last two seasons so to think he will be back for many games is optimistic at best. Suh will definetly be suspended again, his roid rage will continue to get him in trouble. Think I am wrong look at it this way. Suh requests a meeting with the commisioner to ask him what he can do to keep the yellow hankies in the refs pockets. I assume the commish told him and what does the dumbass do. Goes right back to ripping off helmets and stomping on guys while they are on the ground. Ya he will be suspended again.
    I will give credit where credit due and the Lions are a much better team this year but they are still the Lions and one winning season does not mean crap when a franchise has had 6 winning seasons in the last 31 years.

  54. ray0414 says: Dec 16, 2011 12:38 AM

    actually fairley didnt have foot problems in college so get your own facts straight, he did NOT miss a single game his senior year! he broke his foot the first or 2nd day of practice THIS YEAR. best will be back next year, but dont expect him to be taking on a huge load, i expect him to either be used as a decoy or screen passes, cant run him up the middle cause thats how he gets hurt. he only had ONE concussion in college(when he landed on his head). i dont believe he had any concussions last year, played almost all year but had the turf toes.

  55. asublimeday says: Dec 16, 2011 3:31 AM

    Uhh….in the regular season, never in the playoffs?

  56. staffordsyear says: Dec 16, 2011 6:06 AM

    @5chan

    20 bucks says you didnt even read the article before you posted that comment.

  57. bostonhasrealhockey says: Dec 16, 2011 6:39 AM

    They have to be good in order to have haters. Bills and lions right back where they belong wheres the week 4 mouths ?

  58. larryfinfan says: Dec 16, 2011 8:22 AM

    Well, there you have it. The epitome of what is wrong with the Lions. I am a football purist, for sure. I’d rather watch a good hard defensive game rather than today’s cash register scores ringing every 5 minutes during a game. but this statement by Avril points out that the problem with Lions is the way they are coached. They don’t care that they are circumventing the rules (in many cases, not all). If anyone doesn’t look at what Suh did a few weeks ago and think that it’s beyond the rules, they need to go back to WWE or whatever…. Of course the first that needs to get a refresher course in the rule book is Schwartz. This is exactly what’s wrong there. The coach doesn’t care about the rules and decency, so why should the players he coaches…

    Mr. Goodell, you want to fix the Lions, rein in the coach first….

  59. detlions80 says: Dec 18, 2011 1:03 PM

    Cliff has, quietly, been the man on the lions d-line this year. here’s to big cliff n all those Lions haters talkin bout head stomps.

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