Lions center Dominic Raiola was part of Matt Millen’s first draft class in 2001, so he has lived through as bad a run as an NFL team can have. And he says there’s no danger that the 2-4 Lions are going to go through anything like that again.
Raiola told the Detroit Free Press that the Lions’ struggles this year aren’t the same as the team’s struggles in the past, because the negative attitude that once pervaded the locker room in Detroit is gone. Raiola credited coach Jim Schwartz for running off anyone who wasn’t buying into the way the Lions do things, and he said this is a very different team than the team that had a losing record in each of Raiola’s first 10 seasons.
“No, I don’t think so,” Raiola said of the Lions going in the tank this season. “I think before Jim got here, those guys are out of here. And if they are [around], they’ll be gone soon. I don’t think we need to worry about guys packing it up early or giving up or quitting on the team, because that’s not here anymore.”
Raiola said the Lions’ locker room was once a bad place to be, but that’s no longer the case.
“I’m glad those guys aren’t here anymore because the negativity is contagious and it spreads like a fire, because you’ve got one guy saying it, then a veteran thinks it,” he said. “We don’t have guys like that. We’ve got good, solid veteran workers that like to work, guys that are going to be here for a long time. Our stars are going to be here for a long time. And I think that’s the core of our team, so I don’t think there’s any chance of that happening. I know it’s not going to happen.”
The attitude in Detroit may be better, but the record isn’t. A 2-4 team with a good attitude is still a 2-4 team.