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Lions take issue with talk that they lack talent

Detroit Lions v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

The Lions think they’re better than their 1-3 record suggests, and they’re frustrated with those who question the talent on their roster.

Unnamed league executives were quoted by Pro Football Weekly as saying that the Lions have players who aren’t as good as they think they are, and that Lions G.M. Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz are overrated. Lions center Dominic Raiola heard about that and wasn’t pleased.

That fires me up,” Raiola told the Detroit News. “If they had any [guts] they would say who they were. That’s kind of like a coward statement to me. We just have to get back to what we did last year. Talent-wise, it’s all the same. To take a shot at the Lions’ organization like that, that ain’t right.”

The Lions’ website also published an article taking issue with the negative assessment of the team, and noting that the Lions aren’t at full strength because two key players, running back Jahvid Best and safety Louis Delmas, have missed the start of the season with injuries.

But the reality is that there’s no argument anyone in the Lions’ organization can make that changes the fact that they’re 1-3. If the Lions want to change perceptions, they need to change their won-loss record, and let their play do their talking.

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79 Responses to “Lions take issue with talk that they lack talent”
  1. pnut87 says: Oct 9, 2012 6:54 PM

    I’m sure Lions fans are taking issue with their record…

  2. takingbovadasmoney says: Oct 9, 2012 6:55 PM

    Truth hurts, eh Dom?

  3. sweetnlow44 says: Oct 9, 2012 6:56 PM

    Stafford’s overrated. He would be nothing with the best receiver in the world bailing him out over and over again.

  4. takingbovadasmoney says: Oct 9, 2012 6:58 PM

    Quit partying all night at Flight Club and Penthouse Club and their legs wouldn’t be so tired. Every high profile club and strip club I go to around SE Michigan it seems as if a Lion is their acting like a rock star trying to get free drinks. Lame and cheap.

  5. drblinky says: Oct 9, 2012 6:59 PM

    Their offense is plenty talented, it’s their defense that has some serious issues.

  6. source7769 says: Oct 9, 2012 6:59 PM

    put your name to it

  7. rickastleydancemoves says: Oct 9, 2012 7:00 PM

    Other than Calvin Johnson and probably Suh, they don’t have any other players that are in the top 10 at their position.

  8. duck99 says: Oct 9, 2012 7:03 PM

    Lions are last years news. They will finish with 6 or 7 wins and in last place. Good thing they won it all last year…oh wait …

  9. jtmmack says: Oct 9, 2012 7:04 PM

    You are who you are and they are the Lions.

  10. rbell2123 says: Oct 9, 2012 7:06 PM

    As a long time Lions fan I wish Dominic Raiola played as good as he talks……He is worst center in the NFL , Lions have not been able to run the ball since he was named starting center. wish he would shut up and retire.

  11. ocdn says: Oct 9, 2012 7:07 PM

    If this doesn’t fire up this lethargic team, nothing will.

  12. cletusvandam says: Oct 9, 2012 7:08 PM

    So according to the Lions they are 1-3 because their 3rd down back and a safety are hurt? Seem logical…

  13. patriots123456 says: Oct 9, 2012 7:08 PM

    As Bill Parcells said, You are what your record is.

    Every team out there has serious injuries.

    No more excuses.

  14. bordner says: Oct 9, 2012 7:08 PM

    ” …the Lions have players who aren’t as good as they think they are, and that Lions G.M. Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz are overrated.”
    ————————————-
    Agreed, agreed and agreed.

  15. bobhk says: Oct 9, 2012 7:08 PM

    They either have lousy talent or crappy coaching. Which one is it? I think Schnartz is waaay overrated but I think the roster is a bit overrated too.

  16. tigers182 says: Oct 9, 2012 7:10 PM

    Whether they do or not, its incredibly weak for a league exec to hide behind a writer to call out another team like this.

  17. baloneyjohn says: Oct 9, 2012 7:11 PM

    What happened to Stafford and Megatron?

  18. JohnBoy1313 says: Oct 9, 2012 7:12 PM

    Sorry Lions, but talent and coaching are both still issues, if you’re so “fired up” change the perception on the field and win.

  19. Johnb21 says: Oct 9, 2012 7:13 PM

    Uhhh… take away the trick play PR for TD and KR TD against Tennessee and then a KR and PR TD the following week against the Vikings and the Lions are 3-1 instead of 1-3. It is the special teams that made this team 1-3… not any kind of “lack of talent”.

    Anyone that says the Lions are over rated because they are 1-3 just doesn’t have the intelligence or the football knowledge to see that the Special Teams group… is the cause of the current record.

  20. kiopta1 says: Oct 9, 2012 7:14 PM

    I don’t question their talent…I question their heart and work ethic.

  21. notthathand says: Oct 9, 2012 7:14 PM

    Talent isn’t the problem. Coaching is the problem. Last year the Lions were a bit of an unknown, now teams have film on them. Linehan’s offense is stagnant and predictable. Cunningham’s defense can’t stop anyone when it counts, all teams have to do is run wham traps on them. And how the ST coordinator has a job is anyone’s guess.
    They play predicable football with no fire and that’s the fault of the coaches.

  22. pdominic33 says: Oct 9, 2012 7:17 PM

    Really? Stafford, Johnson, Suh, Avril?…Pettigrew, Young, Hanson, Delmas, (yes, he’s back.) No talent?
    The Lions have talent. This is not subject to debate. But the nfl is filled with teams that have talent. Any given game’s outcome often comes down to three or four plays. Truth is, the lions haven’t made plays this year like they had last year. I think they will turn it around. Because, THEY DO HAVE TALENT. Anytime you have the best player on the field, (Johnson), and not an elite yet, but very good quarterback, and finally, a good defensive line, you will win football games.

  23. adambballn says: Oct 9, 2012 7:18 PM

    “We just have to get back to what we did last year.”

    The Lions didn’t beat a single team with a winning record last year and dating back to last season, counting their playoff game, have lost 11 of their last 17.

  24. pc1976 says: Oct 9, 2012 7:19 PM

    So far this year, we’ve suffered from 1) an unbalanced offense allowing other teams to key on the pass, and 2) underperformance by the DL, especially Suh (who beats his man then overpursues past the QB, misses him, then throws a tantrum). And yes, 3) DB’s who would struggle in Morgan State reserves.

    We need to 1) give it to Mikel, 2) let our good LB’s (esp Levy) come on more blitzes to support the front 4, and 3) be patient – we had no spare money to improve the team this year, and did well to renegotiate Tulloch/Calvin etc. This year will be a down period on a steadily improving win column

  25. Gordon says: Oct 9, 2012 7:23 PM

    Stafford is a solid QB, but he’s as fragile as crystal. Suh came into the league with a bang, but he’s been whimpering ever since. Schwartz is a tool.

    Megatron is really the only “must-have” guy on this team (although you could make a case for Avril too).

  26. expertop says: Oct 9, 2012 7:23 PM

    Funny that getting characterized as lacking talent is what fires these guys up. As if losing while having lots of talent is somehow way better.

  27. mdpickles says: Oct 9, 2012 7:24 PM

    I agree with this assessment. When the Eagles shut down Megatron with double and triple teams, there is no other weapon on offense to make them pay. Pettigrew is a drop machine. Their secondary is awful. Lions go to 1-4 even with an extra week of rest.

  28. polegojim says: Oct 9, 2012 7:24 PM

    Wanna the criticism to stop? Start playing up to your talent. It’s just that simple.

    Stop whinning and start winning. Funny how that works!

    My Lions are as good as their record shows… for now.

    No pass rush.
    No running game.
    Easy secondary.

    Go LIONS… I hope..

  29. whatjusthapped says: Oct 9, 2012 7:26 PM

    The Lions are in last place, the same spot they typically occupy for the last 15 years.

    Is this newsworthy?

  30. purplengold says: Oct 9, 2012 7:26 PM

    poor little kitties
    on the turf, chasing their tails.
    watching the sun set.

  31. squared80 says: Oct 9, 2012 7:27 PM

    The problem with the Lions is their attitude (case in point: this article) and lack of discipline. Their head coach has a Napolean complex and a short fuse to go with it, and his attitude problem has trickled down to his players… which has been evident for 2-3 years now to anyone who’s watched a Lions game.

  32. dolphins4 says: Oct 9, 2012 7:28 PM

    Don’t worry Vick will hand you a win this week.

  33. jimnaizeeum says: Oct 9, 2012 7:29 PM

    If you are 4 & 0 you’re 4 & o, if you’re 1 & 3…..

  34. nomoreseasontix says: Oct 9, 2012 7:30 PM

    I disagree that Schwartz is overrated.
    I’m not sure anyone thought he was very good in the first place.
    Aside from throwing little girl tantrums. He’s pretty good at that.

  35. expertop says: Oct 9, 2012 7:35 PM

    Johnb21 says:
    Oct 9, 2012 7:13 PM
    Uhhh… take away the trick play PR for TD and KR TD against Tennessee and then a KR and PR TD the following week against the Vikings and the Lions are 3-1 instead of 1-3. It is the special teams that made this team 1-3… not any kind of “lack of talent”.
    _____________________________
    Are you sure there’s nothing else you wanna “take away” to get them to your mythical 3-1? Just those four long scoring plays. In 2 games.

  36. beeroncos says: Oct 9, 2012 7:36 PM

    When the heck did it become not ok to bash the Lions? Scott Mitchell wants his dignity back. Obviously the players are not old enough to know that the Lions will always be mired in mediocrity to everyone outside of Detroit.

  37. pacodawg says: Oct 9, 2012 7:36 PM

    Lions could win the NFC if the niners fold again

  38. thepvyharvin says: Oct 9, 2012 7:43 PM

    Hey,,,if the shoe fits,,,

  39. tucostacos says: Oct 9, 2012 7:43 PM

    They are 6-10 in their last 16 games. You are what your record says you are…sub .500.

  40. iamthot says: Oct 9, 2012 7:48 PM

    The lions stink plain and simple. Delmas is garbage and so is Best. If those two were healthy their record would still be 1-3

  41. jimmylions says: Oct 9, 2012 7:49 PM

    It’s pretty cowardly for league execs to make a statement for publication, but hide behind anonymity.

    Our special teams played horrifically and cost us 2 games. That’s hardly grounds to throw the entire team under the bus.

    It’s still pretty early in the year to make proclamations about who is going to the playoffs and who isn’t.

    Next 3 games will all be interesting. We have the Eagles and the Bears on the road, and Seahawks at home. I think we can win all 3, but the biggest test will be Chicago who have come out much stronger than anyone expected – especially with Cutler acting like such a dope.

    If we end this stretch 1-6, you’re all free to go back to ripping on us like we’re Cleveland-lite.

  42. pappavike says: Oct 9, 2012 7:51 PM

    The Lions have talent!! But they are not playing as unit! It’s not just special teams! because if that was the case the offence would be keeping them in games. Maybe they belived to much of the hype!! about how good they really were?

  43. 2ndaryinsanity says: Oct 9, 2012 7:53 PM

    Shouldn’t the Lions players be “fired up” about losing 3 out of 4 games? But, no…they’re “fired up” because someone said mean things about them. Claiming you’d be 3-1 if a few plays had gone differently is LAME. Your team is 1-3 because they didn’t make enough plays to win the games. Plain and simple. Blaming your record on players being hurt is also lame. Most teams have important players get injured. Good teams and their coaching staff find ways to win.

  44. bobhk says: Oct 9, 2012 7:53 PM

    expertop says:
    Oct 9, 2012 7:23 PM
    Funny that getting characterized as lacking talent is what fires these guys up. As if losing while having lots of talent is somehow way better.
    ——
    Great comment.

  45. jpb12 says: Oct 9, 2012 8:03 PM

    They lack heart.

    If some of their best players started playing on special teams it would show they gave a damn about winning.

  46. elwaysmilehighdenver says: Oct 9, 2012 8:11 PM

    It’s really pretty simple. Score more points,
    play better defense, quit turning the ball over, improve on special teams, and stop worrying about what the media says.
    If the Lions feel disrespected its because they have not earned it! As a fan, I’m getting tired of all the excuses that come week after week from the motor city!

  47. bathroomben7 says: Oct 9, 2012 8:13 PM

    Schwartz – scumbag coach that’ll be gone in two years
    Suh – overrated dirty player good for cheap shots and little else
    Stafford – injury prone goof who plays for stats not wins

    Johnson is this team’s only real bright spot This is why you build a real team that plays together and wins together instead of drafting a bunch of loudmouth “individual” players.

  48. ghjjf says: Oct 9, 2012 8:21 PM

    It’s called the Madden Curse, next time don’t lobby for one of your players to be on the cover of that game if you want your team to succeed.

  49. higgy5353 says: Oct 9, 2012 8:22 PM

    The lions have talented players. Too bad their talent is breaking the law and getting arrested.

  50. delions00 says: Oct 9, 2012 8:25 PM

    Want to stop the critics? Learn some new strategies pre-snap. Linehan doesn’t identify coverages so we can’t make calls to exploit them. How do Manning and Brady do it? Here’s my observations:

    Every defense this year has played a base cover 2 zone or cover 2 man. Want to get open? Put someone in motion. If a secondary defender follows him through the motion, it is man coverage. If he sits tight, it’s a soft zone (because teams don’t crowd the box when you can’t run).

    If the motion man shows zone, hit a quick slant or wheel route across the middle (cough*Broyles, Burleson*cough) because there will be some fat gaps if defenders are sitting tight and the safeties are being stretched with CJ and Young. Yes, I’ll even include Brandon “teflon hands” Pettigrew in this portion…

    If it’s man, hit CJ deep in double coverage (I’d give him the better odds to come up with it or a PI all day) or Young if CJ draws more of the secondary his way.

    Get some pre-snap reads to give you a leg up and stop letting the defense dictate offensive strategy.

  51. hor2012 says: Oct 9, 2012 8:52 PM

    Listen Lions fans. I’ve been a Saints fan my entire life. And, I remember when Jim Mora first took the Saints to the playoffs. The next year the Saints missed the playoffs. This isn’t that uncommon. Most teams after they make playoffs for the first time in a long time have a hangover the next year. Don’t panic. You’ve have enough talent. The problem is you’re considered to be a good team, so other teams preperation is more intense and thier effort is a litter better then it was against you last year. That being said, I think you could use a big running back and if possible a shut down corner. Other than that, all you need is just one more year and you’ll be fine

  52. lionsdraftguy says: Oct 9, 2012 8:53 PM

    Wow, im amazed by how many people think they are so cool because they can come on the internet and trash talk about the Lions. Thats ALL pft readers do is trash talk. Trash talk Stafford. Trash talk Calvin. Suh. Fairley. Schwartz. These guys have no idea about any other team besides the one they root for. Its obvious by reading their dumb comments. “Calvin isnt good”….”Stafford isnt good” Unbelieveable. Get a dang hobby and quit your stupid trash talk. Or actually LEARN about the game instead of just reading box scores.

  53. racksie says: Oct 9, 2012 9:24 PM

    And then there is the issue that nobody wants to play special teams, and they gave up FOUR touchdowns on special teams in two weeks. For the first time since 1940. So maybe get the special teams to not crush the morale of the team and things will get better. Oh, and better players.

  54. chi01town says: Oct 9, 2012 9:27 PM

    PLEASE… the Lions was weak last season an the only reason they made the playoffs was because Cutler an Forte was hurt an everybody knows that.

  55. essentialsausage says: Oct 9, 2012 9:51 PM

    Raiola’s a terrible player. You can quote me on that, Dom.

  56. cjforpresident says: Oct 9, 2012 9:54 PM

    The anonymous GM was probably Martin Mayhew. Think about it. Of course the comments here also indicate some serious dimly lit opinions… love to hate… yep… and clearly the Lions have some things to work on… so do the Packers, Patriots, Steelers, Eagles, Bears… just about every team not named the Texans.

  57. tigershark49 says: Oct 9, 2012 9:56 PM

    The “oh wait” comments are lame. Your friends must think you are really funny.

  58. notthathand says: Oct 9, 2012 10:02 PM

    @delions00

    Nice try, good ideas. But we’re talking about an OC who apparently thinks an occasional Burleson end around is ‘mixing it up.’

  59. funktron2x says: Oct 9, 2012 10:08 PM

    They do let the play do the talking. The Lions don’t go bragging about themselves or talking smack about other teams. That “gm” really is a cowardly little you know what. You got something to say? Be a man and put your name on it.

  60. shaggytoodle says: Oct 9, 2012 10:27 PM

    They have talent, just kind of like a division rival GB, tons of talnet. Both teams have been lacking in excution so far this season.

  61. draculalambert says: Oct 9, 2012 10:39 PM

    Lions are not elite like the Steelers….they’re more like a rich man’s Bills….

    Go Steelers! *WOOT WOOT*

    hit the like button! I’m a fan w/ a keen eye and sharp wit.

  62. twosquirrelsonetree says: Oct 9, 2012 10:40 PM

    Johnb21 says: Oct 9, 2012 7:13 PM

    Uhhh… take away the trick play PR for TD and KR TD against Tennessee and then a KR and PR TD the following week against the Vikings and the Lions are 3-1 instead of 1-3. It is the special teams that made this team 1-3… not any kind of “lack of talent”.

    Anyone that says the Lions are over rated because they are 1-3 just doesn’t have the intelligence or the football knowledge to see that the Special Teams group… is the cause of the current record.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Unfortunately for you and other Lions fans teams have to play all three phases to win (at least most of the time) in the NFL. Having poor special teams is also usually a reflection of poor depth.

    Either way your team needs to fix the special teams or you’re going to be making these kind of posts week after week.

  63. thelastpieceofcheese says: Oct 9, 2012 10:41 PM

    PAPER LIONS

  64. staffordsyear says: Oct 9, 2012 10:42 PM

    @ghjjf

    The madden curse is why the lions are off to a bad start?…good news! Thats why,your right..well heres to a 12-4 season next year because ya know.. the madden curse will have expired!…smh.

  65. mjkelly77 says: Oct 9, 2012 10:47 PM

    takingbovadasmoney says:Oct 9, 2012 6:58 PM

    Quit partying all night at Flight Club and Penthouse Club and their legs wouldn’t be so tired. Every high profile club and strip club I go to around SE Michigan it seems as if a Lion is their acting like a rock star trying to get free drinks. Lame and cheap.
    ____________________

    Sure, that sounds believable. I bet you had to google “strip clubs” on your mom’s computer to come up with those names.

  66. getadealdonealready says: Oct 9, 2012 10:57 PM

    If they think the reason they are 1-3 is because they don’t have Best and Delmas then they are a lot worse than I thought.

  67. mattolikesthevikes says: Oct 9, 2012 11:08 PM

    Too bad that the lions feel the need to say the reason they suck is because two players are hurt. Which team doesn’t have injuries. Hell, green bay is all banged up but they don’t post excuses on their website and have more wins.

  68. beerbudsnbevo says: Oct 9, 2012 11:12 PM

    It’s not talent that is missing, it’s discipline.

    They have none.

    And guess what Lions band-wagoners…

    They have already topped out.

    So time to put your other loser team gear back on

  69. hyzers says: Oct 9, 2012 11:33 PM

    I have a hard time believing a GM with any class would hide behind “Pro Football Weekly” and spew such a personal vendetta. It’s almost hard to take seriously, which is why MDS left out all the obviously over the top trash talk…

    My guess is that there was no rival GM who said this and that it’s most likely made-up by the author.

  70. easyeddie says: Oct 10, 2012 12:59 AM

    draculalambert says: Oct 9, 2012 10:39 PM

    Lions are not elite like the Steelers….they’re more like a rich man’s Bills….

    Go Steelers! *WOOT WOOT*

    hit the like button! I’m a fan w/ a keen eye and sharp wit.
    —————————-
    Sorry, but the Steelers are hardly elite this season.

  71. larryboodry says: Oct 10, 2012 3:32 AM

    jimmylions says:

    “Next 3 games will all be interesting. We have the Eagles and the Bears on the road, and Seahawks at home. I think we can win all 3, but the biggest test will be Chicago who have come out much stronger than anyone expected – especially with Cutler acting like such a dope. ”

    The way Cutler has been acting is not relevant, and I disagree with your assessment anyway…The way he has been playing is what counts, and that – plus our defense – is what should decide the game on Oct. 22.

  72. larryboodry says: Oct 10, 2012 3:34 AM

    The Lions are who we thought they were…Heck, even the Packers are who we thought the Lions were.

  73. xjokerz says: Oct 10, 2012 5:53 AM

    I’m from michigan , and a lions fan… With that said I agree the lions are over – rated. Sorry lion fans out there , I was born in 87 and never saw a ” good ” lions team until last year and with all the pain and suffering this garbage organization has produced, I will not be riding that band wagon like so many other lion ” fans ” because of one good year. U don’t trust stafford, they have no running game and so far their special teams has been a complete and utter joke

  74. joeyd524 says: Oct 10, 2012 6:29 AM

    Dear mr suh,please don’t hurt #7 with him as qb I sleep well at night knowing the eagles will never win it all,thank you

  75. randallflagg52 says: Oct 10, 2012 6:46 AM

    Let’s see here, their best player was on the Madden cover which is always a great career move (ask Shaun Alexander), their “star” defensive tackle is looking more and more like a one hit wonder, their other “star” defensive tackle WAS a one hit wonder… at Auburn, their QB is made of glass, their OL consists of 5 turnstyles, their secondary couldn’t cover division 2 NCAA players, and their coach is a tool.

    I would say this team is overrated, but this is the Lions we are talking about here. Not sure they earned the overrated title.

  76. raveallday says: Oct 10, 2012 7:51 AM

    I keep saying it. some teams looked good last year because there was no OTA’s. Now teams are balanced. No more 5g yards.

  77. FinFan68 says: Oct 10, 2012 7:58 AM

    The Lions have plenty of talent. What they lack is discipline and leadership.

  78. steeelfann says: Oct 10, 2012 10:52 AM

    You are what your record says you are.

  79. oxcitybombers says: Oct 10, 2012 2:20 PM

    chi01town says:
    Oct 9, 2012 9:27 PM
    PLEASE… the Lions was weak last season an the only reason they made the playoffs was because Cutler an Forte was hurt an everybody knows that.

    _______________________

    You mean every BEARS fan knows that.

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