The Lions have followed a 2011 season in which they were one of the league leaders in stupid penalties on the field with an offseason in which they’re one of the league leaders in stupid incidents off the field. But Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford still maintains that the Lions are mature.
After today’s team meeting at the start of the Lions’ offseason program, Stafford told reporters that head coach Jim Schwartz talked to the team about offensive lineman Johnny Culbreath, defensive tackle Nick Fairley and running back Mikel Leshoure all getting arrested for marijuana possession. And Stafford said he’s confident that off-field problems won’t set the Lions back on the field.
“We’ve come so far. We don’t want anything to hold us back,” Stafford said, via MLive.com. “I think everybody knows that. We’re a mature team. Obviously, some of the guys having trouble off the field were younger guys. They’ll figure it out. We’ll be there to help them along.”
Stafford said he expects to talk to the players who were arrested, but he doesn’t think they need him getting on their cases about it.
“You talk to them,” Stafford said. “It will come up at some time, but these guys are mature enough to understand what’s going on and what they need to do better to help us out.”
For a promising Lions team to take the next step, they’re going to need to show more of the maturity that Stafford sees, both on and off the field.