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Nate Burleson: Lions need to be the bad guys on the field

N. Burleson Getty Images

The Lions won on Sunday despite 16 penalties, the most of any team in any game in the NFL all season. But to hear Lions receiver Nate Burleson tell it, that’s just fine.

According to Burleson, the Lions had to clean things up off the field after they led the league in offseason arrests, but they didn’t want to change their character on the field.

“We had a lot of discipline issues in the off-season, and we wanted to tighten up because the perception of this organization started to change,” Burleson told the Detroit Free Press. “What we worked for was getting torn down, and we wanted to be more of a mature team. But finding that maturity off the field can’t compromise who we are on the field. And who we are on the field are the bad guys. . . . We’re the ones that nobody wants to see succeed, and we like it that way. We play better that way. I think everybody took it in their own hands to be better men off the field, and that followed us a little bit on the field. But I think we’re back where we need to be.”

As a veteran team leader, Burleson said that’s an attitude he has tried to impress on younger players.

“I talked to the guys last week, and I said we’ve got to get back to being angry, mad at everybody, not really caring what people think about us, playing with that chip on our shoulders,” Burleson said.

You could argue that it must have worked last week, because the Lions won. Or you could argue that if it weren’t for all the penalties, the Lions would have won without having to come back from a 10-point deficit with four minutes left.

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33 Responses to “Nate Burleson: Lions need to be the bad guys on the field”
  1. docsweeney says: Oct 17, 2012 3:10 PM

    So, we can expect chippy play, more boneheaded penalties and perhaps a few ejections in coming weeks?

  2. johnnycash19 says: Oct 17, 2012 3:11 PM

    I’m just trying to figure out why they only show up in the 4th quarter. If they could play the whole game like they do the 4th quarter, that team would be nasty.

  3. roadtrip3500 says: Oct 17, 2012 3:15 PM

    Apparently, they thought the Suh stomp was pretty cool inside the locker room.

  4. hyzers says: Oct 17, 2012 3:15 PM

    Just shut up, Nate. 16 penalties might beat Vick and the Eagles but it won’t get it done against the Bears on Monday night.

  5. randallflagg52 says: Oct 17, 2012 3:16 PM

    Well I would say Suh has it taken care of, but he’s pulled a disapearing act after his rookie year.

  6. hyzers says: Oct 17, 2012 3:16 PM

    docsweeney says:
    Oct 17, 2012 3:10 PM
    So, we can expect chippy play, more boneheaded penalties and perhaps a few ejections in coming weeks?
    ————————————————–

    Actually the only player ejected last week was an Eagle, believe it or not.

  7. txtuff says: Oct 17, 2012 3:17 PM

    Wow, dude needs a clue!

  8. vdogg says: Oct 17, 2012 3:17 PM

    The Eagles did everything they could to hand that game to Detroit, it almost looked like Detroit didn’t want the help…Schwartz is a punk and that team has taken that persona on. Lot of talent on Detroit but no one to lead them…

  9. clickablecontent says: Oct 17, 2012 3:18 PM

    How about just being good?

  10. atlien698 says: Oct 17, 2012 3:23 PM

    Nate Burleson reminds me of that WR who used to play for the Cowboys, Patrick Crayton — i.e., not NEARLY good enough of a player to have so many quotables.

  11. izlez says: Oct 17, 2012 3:24 PM

    It would be great if you didn’t try to imply that the Lions were out there throwing punches and trying to kill people last week.

    False starts and encroachment penalties have nothing to do with being “bad guys”

  12. steelers4385 says: Oct 17, 2012 3:28 PM

    Im so baffled. I to cant for the life of me understand why they only show up in the 4th quarter. I mean for the love of god if they even showed up 2 measley quarters a game they would prolly win alot more. And this is just an opinion but i really dont think Jim Shwartz is head coach material. Great defensive coach if thats all he had to worry about. Their defense is so vanilla. And you wouldnt expect that from him or the gun together. Truley is becoming one of the wonders of the world.

  13. angrylionsfan says: Oct 17, 2012 4:00 PM

    How about you focus on playing 4 complete quarters of Offense instead of shooting imaginary Eagles Nate?

    You guys got lucky. 16 penalties is absurd too. I had so much hope for the Lions and pride for the Lions at the start of last season, and now I feel like they are “the same old Lions.”

  14. purpleguy says: Oct 17, 2012 4:14 PM

    Once again, a WR who lived off of Moss in MN and now Megatron in Detroit is the mouthpiece of the Lions players. Either Burleson has likes-to-hear-himself-talk disease, Detroit reporters are incredibly lazy, or the other Lions players hide from reporters during media access time. Probably all of the above.

  15. thetigerreport says: Oct 17, 2012 4:30 PM

    As a Lions fan, I am so sick of hearing the garbage from the team. You don’t need to be bad boys to win football games. If you do your job and knock the snot out of the other team, legally and before the whistle, then you don’t have to be chippy and undisciplined.

    Frankly, if they keep talking about this “bad boy” “us against the world” stuff, then I am concerned that they do not have enough internal motivation to be a winning organization.

    Which would be a shame, because this team can hang with anyone, even when they only show up for 1 quarter.

  16. mialto says: Oct 17, 2012 4:35 PM

    It all starts at the top for these players, Schwartz is a clown, no class, and inferiority complex issues. Their Head Coach sets the tone, start fining, or suspending players for conduct and you should see some become better people. The ones that don’t will soon find themselves out of the NFL.

  17. larryboodry says: Oct 17, 2012 4:38 PM

    Here’s what Lovie Smith needs to emphasize for Monday night…”Do not retaliate against cheap shots and dirty play.”

  18. tshirttom says: Oct 17, 2012 4:44 PM

    Playing one quarter a game doesn’t cut it. To get to the next level you have to play the whole game, play it well and play consistently. I’d really like to see it start on Monday Night! O Line needs to open some running lanes as we can’t expose the secondary to 3 and outs all the time. Get some imagination in the play-calling PLEASE!

  19. gergie1957 says: Oct 17, 2012 5:03 PM

    My guess Nate was talking about the other players on the lions, because we all know he’d get his butt kicked on the field if he tried being a”Bad guy” out there.

  20. shaggytoodle says: Oct 17, 2012 5:10 PM

    You know what they say, it all starts at the top.

    Whether it be hoping to look tough by stepping on people, or even shaking hands. They want to be bad.

    We know they are bad off the field

    They got a tough chunk of due up that will bring them to Thanksgiving. They may be bad on the field too, if they don’t keep thier heads straight.

  21. peytonsneck18 says: Oct 17, 2012 5:16 PM

    I forgot this dude was still even in the league

  22. credible316 says: Oct 17, 2012 5:18 PM

    Is he talking attitude or talent? because they’ve got the bad talent thing down pretty well this year.

  23. warsal says: Oct 17, 2012 5:18 PM

    Not one single portion of his comment suggested he was okay with having 16 penalties

  24. hehateme2 says: Oct 17, 2012 6:23 PM

    This team has no idea of how to win. Let’s try this… no wait,, let’s go back to before… ouch!

    If all else fails, blame everyone else.

  25. rockbottom37 says: Oct 17, 2012 6:29 PM

    Lions need to just think of what Chicago did to them last year at soldier field …in two gms last year vs lions …Butler only threw 1 TD….stop forte and protect the ball they should win the game.

  26. dustinq says: Oct 17, 2012 6:34 PM

    Frankly, Nate is correct here. Furthermore, Suh hasn’t disappeared. Turn on game rewind and watch him. What Burleson is getting at is playing with passion, swagger, and the “us against the world” mentality; it works for THIS team.

    It never ceases to amaze me how many comments about the Lions and the state of Michigan in general are based on hate, hostility, and who the Lions once were, but no longer are.

  27. turtlehut says: Oct 17, 2012 6:52 PM

    Now if the Lions can just get their fans to be the same jerk as Raider fan!!!

  28. mrbiz8505 says: Oct 17, 2012 6:58 PM

    The Lions will always be the underdog that nobody roots for

  29. jimmylions says: Oct 17, 2012 7:00 PM

    You could also argue a third option … this is just Nate pandering to Lions fans.

    People from Detroit love being the known as the bad guys and the outsiders. We love it when people complain that we have too much swagger. Look at Kirk Gibson – one of the all time favorite Detroit Tigers. Ask anyone from Detroit — Gibby wasn’t arrogant, he was confident.

    Wanna see someone from Chicago turn red and explode? Two words … Bill Laimbeer.

    It’s Detroit, where the weak are killed and eaten. If it’s too loud you’re too old.

  30. larryboodry says: Oct 17, 2012 7:23 PM

    rockbottom37 says: Oct 17, 2012 6:29 PM

    “Lions need to just think of what Chicago did to them last year at soldier field …in two gms last year vs lions …Butler only threw 1 TD….stop forte and protect the ball they should win the game.”

    Last year Cutler didn’t have Brandon Marshall…And stopping Forte and the Bears defense will be easier said than done.

  31. larryboodry says: Oct 17, 2012 7:31 PM

    jimmylions says:

    “Wanna see someone from Chicago turn red and explode? Two words … Bill Laimbeer. ”

    Mchael Jordan…Six NBA Championships…Bill who???

  32. dd393 says: Oct 17, 2012 8:59 PM

    Maybe they could drive their cars on the field? That would do it.

  33. larryboodry says: Oct 17, 2012 9:09 PM

    dd393 says: Oct 17, 2012 8:59 PM

    “Maybe they could drive their cars on the field? That would do it.”

    Nah…Suh would just sideswipe the other cars, then get a free pass from the Dearborn PD.

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