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Bill Ford Jr. says some young Lions better get their acts together

Ford Motor Co Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. walks on the sideline before the start of the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers NFL football game in Detroit Reuters

Lions owner William Clay Ford inexplicably stood by team president Matt Millen for years, but Ford’s son, team vice chairman Bill Ford Jr., finally spurred his dad to fire Millen in September of 2008. Ford Jr. went public with his frustrations about Millen’s stewardship of the team on September 22, and two days later Ford Sr. finally did what Detroit fans had begged him to do for years and fired Millen.

That suggests that when you’re a member of the Lions organization, your job is in jeopardy if Bill Ford Jr. calls you out publicly. And that’s bad news for the young Lions players who have been getting into trouble this offseason, because Ford Jr. said on WJR in Detroit that he’s fed up with the immaturity from certain members of the Lions, and he expects it to change.

“Unfortunately it’s just a couple guys who are just tainting our whole image,” Ford said. “There’s no question, some of our young guys better get their act together because that’s not the way you become a professional. The good news is we’ve got some great veteran leadership on our team that are great guys and can set the tone and I suspect it’s going to be those veterans who are really going to get these guys back in line.”

Ford didn’t mention by name which guys are tainting the Lions’ image, but he was clearly referring to the three players the Lions drafted in the first two rounds last year: Nick Fairley (who was arrested once this year for marijuana possession and once for drunk driving), Titus Young (who was sent home from Organized Team Activities for sucker punching a teammate) and Mikel Leshoure (who has been arrested twice this year for marijuana possession). It’s very rare for a team to cut a player who’s just a year removed from being a first- or second-round pick, but Ford has put those players on notice: If they don’t shape up, their jobs aren’t safe.

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43 Responses to “Bill Ford Jr. says some young Lions better get their acts together”
  1. tweeter75 says: May 31, 2012 8:51 PM

    Bill Ford Jr. says some young Lions better get their acts together.

    Ya Think??

    I’m a Vikings fan and couldn’t help but root for the Lions when they turned things around last year. I’m all for the the up and coming competition in the NFC North!!

    Hopefully their lack of discipline doesn’t make them crash and burn.

  2. latchbeam says: May 31, 2012 8:52 PM

    You think??

  3. latchbeam says: May 31, 2012 8:52 PM

    Bengals 2.0

  4. nflfollower says: May 31, 2012 8:53 PM

    Bill Ford Jr. could be a good owner in contrast to his old man. He helped Ford get by without government assistance, and he seems like a leader who means what he says.

  5. mikelitoris1 says: May 31, 2012 9:08 PM

    Bill Ford Jr. says some young Lions better get their acts together
    ——————————————————————————————-

    I would say Leshoure is Fairley Young.

  6. rbell2123 says: May 31, 2012 9:08 PM

    Can not wait for day when JR is running the team. His father is absentee owner and has been for 50 years.

  7. garyman1 says: May 31, 2012 9:14 PM

    I’m not a total old-fart…I get it that young men will do stupid things (I did too).
    But if the average span of an NFL career is just 3 years, you would think they could simply wait 3 lousy years. Then you could tote up like Cheech and Chong and drink till you puke all you want.

  8. raiderapologist says: May 31, 2012 9:14 PM

    Suh gets a pass?

  9. rmc1995 says: May 31, 2012 9:16 PM

    The guys tainting their own image are named Fairly and Leshoure. The names of guys tainting the Lions image are Florio and Smith.

  10. bobhk says: May 31, 2012 9:17 PM

    Ford: “The good news is we’ve got some great veteran leadership on our team that are great guys and can set the tone and I suspect it’s going to be those veterans who are really going to get these guys back in line.””

    Won’t be from Williams:

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/05/31/on-nick-fairley-corey-williams-will-defer-to-coaches/

  11. stevenfbrackett says: May 31, 2012 9:17 PM

    By his publicly counting on the veteran players players to get the young idiots in line – it says to me he has NO confidence in the coaching staff or GM stepping up and doing that part of their jobs.

  12. percey12 says: May 31, 2012 9:18 PM

    Fairley is a piece of #2

  13. patriots123456 says: May 31, 2012 9:18 PM

    Just like the Auto Industry, have a recall on the defects. Set the tone Bill.

  14. cali49er707 says: May 31, 2012 9:25 PM

    they got a young good dangerous team, but no leadership!!! it seems like the lions could use a respected veteran!!

    not trying to hate but, who is the ( 1 ) voice that the team truly respects in that locker room as a player who has been there before? just a outsider looking in with respect for the lions !!!

  15. Gordon says: May 31, 2012 9:32 PM

    nflfollower
    Bill Ford Jr. could be a good owner in contrast to his old man. He helped Ford get by without government assistance, and he seems like a leader who means what he says.
    ———————————————-
    He didn’t help Ford do anything during that period. That was Alan Mullaly who was the leader at the company. Ford Jr. was running the company into the ground. The best thing he did at that time was to get out of the way.

  16. rickrock6661982 says: May 31, 2012 9:33 PM

    I wonder if Bill kicked down the lockeroom door and shouted:

    “Who do you think you are?”

    “The Bengals and the 49ers?”

  17. fumblenuts says: May 31, 2012 9:34 PM

    One more screw up and……. buh bye. Ford Jr. is the type of man that won’t put up with the B.S.

  18. lolb23 says: May 31, 2012 9:45 PM

    Bill Ford Jr. could be a good owner…
    _______________________________

    He’s been calling the shots since he got rid of Millen. Like most things, behind the scenes things in the Lions organization stay behind the scenes. There hasn’t been any fan fare about it, and there won’t be. But don’t be mistaken. Ford Jr. has everything to do with this Lions team finally turning around.

  19. Soulman45 says: May 31, 2012 9:53 PM

    THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS
    Got the word from the top I hope it help.

  20. noeffinway says: May 31, 2012 9:57 PM

    I guess being put on notice by the Owner is way more than haters have been asking for. What say you all now? That’s what I thought. Now shhhhhh!

  21. clintonportisheadd says: May 31, 2012 10:12 PM

    It’s not just the folks mentioned in the article. Lets not forget Mr. Suh.

    Maybe if the Lions had set an example with him when he first became a problem 2 years ago these other players would get a clue. Instead they see the Lions management and coaching staff shake their fingers and go “tsk tsk”.at Suh’s antics so they figure it’s OK to “act the fool”.

    Kudos to Mr. Ford for taking a stand. Too bad Wilf is so preoccupied with fleecing the taxpayers of Youbetchaville or maybe he would take note his Vikings are in the same boat. As far as the Bengals (the other member of this trio of bad teams/worse players), we all know Mike Brown has always been willing to employ criminals as long as they work cheap. He’s a hopeless case.

  22. mjkelly77 says: May 31, 2012 10:31 PM

    patriots123456 says:May 31, 2012 9:18 PM

    Just like the Auto Industry, have a recall on the defects. Set the tone Bill.
    _______________

    Boy, there are sure a lot of trolls here who would love to see these guys on their team.

  23. smcgaels1997 says: May 31, 2012 11:03 PM

    The 49ers? That fell about 20yds short of being accurate..Cox gets a chance, outside of that that team has class

  24. morgan420 says: May 31, 2012 11:17 PM

    YOU WON’T DO IT!!!

  25. morgan420 says: May 31, 2012 11:23 PM

    YOU WONT DO IT!!!

  26. LoCoSu@%s says: May 31, 2012 11:27 PM

    The owner has implicitly served notice to the coaching staff as well.
    There were signs of indiscipline on the field last year, carried over to practice and off the field as well.

  27. juanhughjazz says: May 31, 2012 11:27 PM

    revisionist history. you left out the part where it was Jr’s idea to hire Millen in the first place.

  28. lks311 says: Jun 1, 2012 12:12 AM

    Lions fans love Ford Jr. The tone is set at the top, and 2011 boys just got served.

  29. silverandblack052099 says: Jun 1, 2012 12:53 AM

    If they want to cut Fairley I say they are DUMB!

    He wouldn’t last a day on the open market!

  30. yevrag3535 says: Jun 1, 2012 1:21 AM

    CUT THEM NOW!!!!!!

  31. rickrock6661982 says: Jun 1, 2012 5:40 AM

    @ smcgaels1997

    I guess you forgot the two DUI’s in the offseason, Randy Moss and Harbaugh’s past transgressions(fighting an analyst, a DUI in 2005 etc..) as well.

    Not to mention him pathetically lying again about not wanting Manning. But was unwilling to give up playcalling power.

  32. seahulk9 says: Jun 1, 2012 6:45 AM

    if ford wanta to make some real money he can just start slingin reefer at the lions OTA’$

  33. TheWizard says: Jun 1, 2012 6:56 AM

    I was happy to see this team start to turn it around, until they got the arrogance before the accomplishment.

    Ask the Cowboys how well that works out.

  34. egreen4590 says: Jun 1, 2012 7:34 AM

    These players are killing my Lions!
    Honestly, as bad as it’d hurt, if Fairley pulls this again I wouldn’t mind dumping him for a 4th or 5th rounder.
    It’ll definitely smack them ALL back into reality.
    If Titus or Leshoure pull this crap again then urge “God”ell to suspend them!
    All of this is trouble is bringing a horrible stigma not only to the Lions, but to the whole city of Detroit.

    It’s like we’re the Bengals or somethin.

  35. jimiinpa says: Jun 1, 2012 7:55 AM

    usually when a owner take a hands on approach it’s usually a disaster , ie cowboys , redskins, raiders. thoes teams have been run into the ground by bumbleing owners who don’t have a clue. hopefully for lions fans the pattern will be broken

  36. johnnycash19 says: Jun 1, 2012 8:11 AM

    jimiinpa says: Jun 1, 2012 7:55 AM

    usually when a owner take a hands on approach it’s usually a disaster , ie cowboys , redskins, raiders. thoes teams have been run into the ground by bumbleing owners who don’t have a clue. hopefully for lions fans the pattern will be broken
    ————————-
    All 3 of those teams have at least 3 Lombardi Trophies. I don’t think any team would mind that.
    (Although, Dan Snyder has 0 Super Bowl Rings. Jerry Jones and Al Davis had their share.)

  37. lionsfan415 says: Jun 1, 2012 8:16 AM

    You know who really is taunting the lions image? The media, this crap happens everywhere and you lemmings eat this crap up and want to hate, well you know what you mother bleepers, when were hoisting up the lombardi trophy I want you fools groveling at my feet

  38. jimmysee says: Jun 1, 2012 9:23 AM

    As “The Young Lions” those three loose canons will never be Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, or even Dean Martin.

  39. radrntn says: Jun 1, 2012 9:30 AM

    and if they don’t , the bengals will sign them.

  40. cali49er707 says: Jun 1, 2012 9:48 AM

    @RIKROK1982
    Not to mention him pathetically lying again about not wanting Manning. But was unwilling to give up playcalling power.

    your absolutely right on all your points!!! but what did you expect harbaugh to do when it came to the play calling?? give manning full control of the offense?? remember owners own, coaches coach, & players play!! so if your team happens to sign ray lewis, would you expect your d-coordinator to give him full control of play calling??

  41. beedubyatoo says: Jun 1, 2012 9:53 AM

    latchbeam says:
    May 31, 2012 8:52 PM
    You think??

    90 2 i

    Rate This
    latchbeam says:
    May 31, 2012 8:52 PM
    Bengals 2.0
    —————————–
    latchbeam:

    When you have something original to post, jump back in. Until then, quiet please.

  42. magnusantonius says: Jun 1, 2012 12:06 PM

    Why are some people including Suh and Young in with this story? Suh and Young haven’t done anything illegal. Fairley, Culbreath and Leshoure were arrested. Suh and Young have had issues ON THE FIELD! Their issues are minor compared to drug possesion, reckless drunk driving and flat out breaking the law!!! To all you Suh and now Titus Young haters…I hope Suh knocks out your quarterbacks and stomps on them and I hope Titus Young punches out your DB’s.

  43. jimmylions says: Jun 1, 2012 3:52 PM

    You fail to mention that Bill Ford Jr. told the Detroit Free Press that the Lions would handle these issues “in house.”

    To look at the attention the Lions are getting on this blog, multiple posts per day, you’d think the news was about first degree murder charges instead of a DUI and marijuana use.

    It would be nice to get news about how various rookies and walkons are shaping up – who looks to be in, who looks to be out.

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