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Burleson says Schwartz has told players about staying out of trouble

Nate Burleson AP

Coach Jim Schwartz isn’t happy about the rash of off-field issues in Detroit this year.  And receiver Nate Burleson said Tuesday that the problems aren’t happening because Schwartz has been ambivalent when it comes to respecting the law.

He’s told us everything,” Burleson said Tuesday, via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. “Everything that the NFL has told us he’s reiterated it time and time again.  If people think that coach Schwartz hasn’t reminded us, not only about how big the microscope is but our resources to help us on and off the field, then people are mistaken.

But the problem could be that the Lions are taking chances on guys who may not be inclined to listen.  Albert Breer of NFL Network recently explained that the risks regarding the team’s top three picks in 2011 — defensive tackle Nick Fairley, receiver Titus Young, and running back Mikel Leshoure — were well known.

“For those three, the signs and the flags were there — it’s not like they didn’t have issues,” an unnamed AFC personnel executive told Breer.  “It shouldn’t be a huge surprise that these guys are having decision-making problems.  Off the field, on the field, the flags were there.  And it goes back to this:  ‘What’s your philosophy on character risk?  How do you approach the risk?  Will it need to be significantly policed?’  Those are the questions you need to answer.”

Perhaps Schwartz believed that, after dealing with guys like Pacman Jones and Albert Haynesworth in Tennessee, it would be easy to control Fairley and Young and Leshoure.  If that’s what Schwartz believed, he believed wrong.

And now the challenge becomes getting these guys under control before it screws up what could be a special season in Detroit.

“I try to remind these guys that it’s rare that you’re on a team that actually can win the championship,” Burleson said.  “That is our goal.”

It’s every team’s goal.  And the Lions are indeed one of the few that can pull it off.  But the distractions and possible suspensions that come from players who can’t make good decisions will make it harder for the Lions to go as far as their talent can carry them.

The key to getting this fixed won’t be Schwartz but players like Burleson, who have the ability to get through to youngsters who are doing dumb things.  Other team leaders, like Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford, and Ndamukong Suh, need to get actively involved as well, and they also need to set a strong example of their own.

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33 Responses to “Burleson says Schwartz has told players about staying out of trouble”
  1. footballfanatic1906 says: May 30, 2012 9:12 AM

    Really? Oh wow that should fix it then.

  2. magnustroi says: May 30, 2012 9:18 AM

    Suh !!!!!! You kidding me ???? Hes been in as much trouble as the rest !!!! Maybe Burleson,Stafford and Johnson …. Keep your nose clean,Your mouth shut ,and play the Damm Game guys !!!!!!

  3. steviemo says: May 30, 2012 9:19 AM

    Tortured headline syntax alert!

  4. rdly49ers says: May 30, 2012 9:23 AM

    All I gotta say is….. Go Niners now that’s a champions team

  5. olikneves says: May 30, 2012 9:37 AM

    Another Lions/Schwartz article. Here come all the haters in 3…2…1…

  6. owen16 says: May 30, 2012 9:52 AM

    It’s important to separate Young from Fairley and Leshore. If Young limits is troubles to practice skirmishes and is law abiding citizen in his time away from the field, he can expect to not hear from Goodell. It’s the guys getting arrested that represent the real problem.

  7. trollhammer20 says: May 30, 2012 9:53 AM

    He got up in front of them last year and said “Drugs are bad, mmmkay?”

  8. lolb23 says: May 30, 2012 9:55 AM

    Another Lions/Schwartz article. Here come all the haters in 3…2…1…
    __________________________________

    Enough calling everyone haters. Is this the new cool thing to do in high school or something? Grow some thicker skin kid. Who cares what other fans think of the Lions, or any team. This is PFT, a place to have some fun, talk some football and leave smart ass remarks. If it’s too much for you, don’t read the articles. For someone supposedly from Detroit, you could stand to grow some spine.

    Go Lions!

  9. dawgsafety13 says: May 30, 2012 9:57 AM

    Quick!!! Someone reference the handshake incident as an indictment of the teams behavior!!!

  10. lolb23 says: May 30, 2012 9:57 AM

    I remember when the only articles you’d ever read about the Lions were Jon Kitna predicting another 10 win season, and Jason Hanson being the top scorer on the team year after year.

    So, it could be worse.

  11. bchapman2011 says: May 30, 2012 10:18 AM

    Hmm those are the kind of conversations you have with your team before 8 of them get arrested. This is kind of like telling your kids not to do drugs after you find them in a crack house.

  12. suhnami says: May 30, 2012 10:20 AM

    first of all, yes schwartz has his hand in the draft process and is a fairly involved head coach in that aspect…but at the end of the day its not JUST SCHWARTZ drafting these guys…Mayhew is the one who pulls the trigger and is the ultimate decision maker….the front office is even quoted as saying “we work amongst the front office, coaches and scouts to come to a consensus on player acquisition but at then end of the day the final say, and final decision comes from Mayhew”

    what a reach to somehow bring up Albert and Pacman when he was in Tennessee…he was a coordinator and had minimal influence on personnel decisions. sure he was involved but they act like schwartz is running the show everywhere he’s ever been.

  13. thejuddstir says: May 30, 2012 10:22 AM

    There’s a reason other teams stay away from players with off-field baggage, Schwartz and the Lions front office have only themselves to blame for it. Drafting one person with baggage is understandable, but to have 4-5 of them is inexcuseable. The Bungals have been doing it for years and where has it got them but the Lions think they know better…….time will tell, and thus far the bad guys are winning.

  14. detroitordie says: May 30, 2012 10:24 AM

    Aldon Smith and Ray McDonald were arrested for DUIs this off season as well (McDonald’s arrest was a warrant for the DUI). Harbaugh also had his own DUI in 2005.

    Pick your battles with Fairley and Leshoure but Suh and Schwartz only have a couple traffic tickets and a leg twitch to their names.

  15. clintonportisheadd says: May 30, 2012 10:35 AM

    “I try to remind these guys that it’s rare that you’re on a team that actually can win the championship,” Burleson said.

    ——————-
    Very rare indeed. However, the 2012 Lions are NOT one of those teams. So they might as well keep up the screwing around.

  16. packersbound says: May 30, 2012 10:43 AM

    CJ, Stafford and Duh don’t have a great leadership! They just wanted the money! The Lions will not make the playoffs this year! Sorry Lions Troublemakers!

  17. purpleguy says: May 30, 2012 10:46 AM

    The real question is whether these guys will change, or more specifically, can change. Us Viking fans saw first hand how Cris Carter’s “mentorship” improved randy Moss’s character. Burleson also was around to witness first hand how well that worked.

  18. mjkelly77 says: May 30, 2012 11:15 AM

    clintonportisheadd says:May 30, 2012 10:35 AM

    Very rare indeed. However, the 2012 Lions are NOT one of those teams. So they might as well keep up the screwing around.
    ______________

    Championship team? The Lions will get there before the Redskins will.

  19. mjkelly77 says: May 30, 2012 11:17 AM

    packersbound says:May 30, 2012 10:43 AM

    CJ, Stafford and Duh don’t have a great leadership! They just wanted the money! The Lions will not make the playoffs this year! Sorry Lions Troublemakers!
    _____________

    Written out of fear by someone who sees the window starting to close on the Green Gay Packers.

  20. easyeddie says: May 30, 2012 11:25 AM

    detroitordie says:
    May 30, 2012 10:24 AM
    Aldon Smith and Ray McDonald were arrested for DUIs this off season as well (McDonald’s arrest was a warrant for the DUI). Harbaugh also had his own DUI in 2005.
    ——————————————-

    Funny how Niners fans here seem to forget all this, isn’t it?

  21. michiganhockey11 says: May 30, 2012 11:28 AM

    As a Lions fan, I will be the first person to tell you that Suh is not in a leadership position. His behavior on/off the field clearly shows that.

    Leaders on that team-V-Bosch, Tulloch, Scheffler (don’t know prior histroy though) and frigging Hanson. Never hear about those dudes getting into issues like Fairley and Leshoure.

    The Schwartz better have these guys on a short leash or they should ride the pine at the teams expense. I would rather watch them get smoked, because some of their more talented guys F-ed up and deal with their consequences than see them keep playing and F-ing up.

    Make Leshoure and Fairley do suicides until they start vomitting. That needs to be the start for Schwartz.

  22. 2greatgoldens says: May 30, 2012 12:12 PM

    Detroit is the new Cincinnati.

  23. mvp43 says: May 30, 2012 12:31 PM

    Shwartz was hired because of his reputation of being a tough guy. There’s nothing wrong with asking your players to play through the whistle. The problem with that mentality is that you need disciplined players.

    Detroit needed a complete culture change, and they got it with Shwartz. I know the whole handshake issue has been pounded to death but, when players see a coach act in that manor, they now feel they need can get away with things as well.

  24. rmc1995 says: May 30, 2012 12:51 PM

    The warning signs referenced are a stretch to relate to off field trouble. Fairly’s warning signs were that he had no drive or motivation. This was about how he would do as a pro, not if he’d get a DUI. This “flaw” of having no drive was proved wrong when he came back to play after recovering from a broken foot. A player with no drive or motivation and guaranteed money doesn’t recover and play as soon as Fairly did.

    Leshoure was injured so the reward can still outway the risk.

    Young’s warning signs? He is high maintenance and a diva. No kidding. A receiver? As a rookie he had over 600 yards and this so called diva issued or at least represented a humble apology after his team related mishap not some career flaw. This is way overblown.

    To some how think people are profetic for using vague terms as warning signs is a stretch. Leshoure was a known character risk, but many thought worth the risk, and can still prove it.

  25. michiganhockey11 says: May 30, 2012 12:55 PM

    Warning sign for Fairley should have been that he grew up just down the road from Jamarcus “purple drank” Russell and they hung out together…..

  26. rmc1995 says: May 30, 2012 1:05 PM

    @Mvp43,
    Part of the culture change Schwartz brought to Detroit was having respect. Many players would park in handicapp spots and had been doing it for years. Schwartz knew he had people at the facility who are handicapped and started to have any player car parked in a handicapped spot towed at the player’s cost. This is the kind of example Schwartz brought to the culture change. The show Jim Harbaugh put on during the handshake was a sign of disrespect to the team and to Ford Field. And just like parking in handicapp spots, Schwartz wasn’t going to shrug it off.

  27. lolb23 says: May 30, 2012 1:47 PM

    Had Harbaugh not run away from Schwartz after smacking him across the back and telling him to go F himself, Schwartz wouldn’t have had to chase him down. Most dudes stand and fight after pulling a stunt like that. Not run away. Just sayin’

  28. mjkelly77 says: May 30, 2012 2:11 PM

    mvp43 says:May 30, 2012 12:31 PM

    Shwartz was hired because of his reputation of being a tough guy. There’s nothing wrong with asking your players to play through the whistle. The problem with that mentality is that you need disciplined players.

    Detroit needed a complete culture change, and they got it with Shwartz. I know the whole handshake issue has been pounded to death but, when players see a coach act in that manor, they now feel they need can get away with things as well.
    _______________

    Uhhh, learn to spell. Then at least your comments will have a semblance of believability.

  29. suicidalionsfan says: May 30, 2012 3:02 PM

    ” Jimmy is getting upset . Jimmy wants you guys to stay out of trouble or Jimmy is gonna start kicking some ass . Jimmy means it this time ! ”
    ~ Jim Schwartz ~

  30. spreadthecheese says: May 30, 2012 3:17 PM

    I think the Lions should focus on winning a playoff game before talk about a Super Bowl. I can’t say I’m surprised, though. Living in Michigan, I had Lions fans tell me they were going to win the division the same year they eventually went 0-16.

  31. achamarro1 says: May 30, 2012 5:51 PM

    Why isnt Matthew stafford in a leadership roll. And in this day and age authorities no longer look the other way. Prime example nick fairley, he was pulled over both times in his hometown 5-10 years ago he wouldve gotten a free ride home or just let go. Stop putting young in the same category as the players with legal problems is just stupid. Shcwarts got mad about whatever harbaugh said to him not the handshake. And jim is a good ole’ boy who aint taking sh!t from somebody no more than most people no matter the stage. Go leos

  32. dd393 says: May 30, 2012 7:56 PM

    He said, “You guys go out and get in trouble so we look like bad intimidators on the field.” Maybe they’re going to drive their cars to get to the quarterbacks.

  33. 2ndaryinsanity says: May 30, 2012 10:12 PM

    #1 sign the Lions are in deep poop….Suh is considered a team leader who is supposed to keep the “younger” guys out of trouble

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