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Lions benched Titus Young for sabotaging their passing offense

Titus Young Pic Getty Images

The Lions deactivated receiver Titus Young on Thanksgiving Day for bad behavior that had led to in-fighting among the coaching staff. Young was allowed back on the practice field Wednesday, as a second-team receiver. The Lions never provided the specifics that resulted in Young’s team-imposed ban, but Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has them.

Per Birkett, Young purposely lined up in the wrong place on the field “multiple times” during the Lions’ Week Eleven loss to Green Bay. He also “mouthed off” to receivers coach Shawn Jefferson before being benched for the final possession. Apparently upset that he wasn’t getting enough passes thrown his way, Young responded by attempting to sabotage the Lions’ passing offense.

Young’s teammates understandably don’t have his back anymore; top wideout Calvin Johnson indicated after the Thanksgiving game that he anticipates the Lions moving forward with rookie Ryan Broyles and newly acquired Mike Thomas in the lineup.

“It was nice to see some new playmakers in there making plays,” Johnson told the Detroit News. “We are going to keep progressing with these new guys in our receiver group.”

Asked if Broyles and Thomas would stay in the rotation, Johnson replied “Yeah. No doubt.”

Young has resumed practicing, but there are no guarantees on his game-day role, if he has one at all. Young’s actions suggest he’s more concerned with himself than the cause of his team.

It’s hard to play with that type of a guy. You can’t win with ‘em. Can’t do it.

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69 Responses to “Lions benched Titus Young for sabotaging their passing offense”
  1. oaktown49er says: Nov 29, 2012 8:31 AM

    If this is true, he’s out of the league. Why would anyone want this guy on their team? It’s hard enough to win in the NFL already.

  2. mrbigass says: Nov 29, 2012 8:31 AM

    Seriously? Lined up wrong on purpose?

    They should have cut him immediately.

  3. djstat says: Nov 29, 2012 8:31 AM

    How about suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team? How about when he lines up wrong, the QB go get in his face, with the lineman backing him up?

    Lions still have no clue

  4. clarkisgod says: Nov 29, 2012 8:34 AM

    What a selfish hunk of junk!! I hope this clown gets dropped and never picked up by another team. He can be “me first” at McDonalds.

  5. isphet71 says: Nov 29, 2012 8:35 AM

    Hopefully this speeds up the Lions’ maturation process. They need some help in that department.

  6. 44mpo says: Nov 29, 2012 8:36 AM

    Can’t blame the coaches for doing that. He’s a cancer with that attitude.
    Too bad they don’t sit Suh down for a few games. Probably afraid of getting kicked.

  7. keeley2 says: Nov 29, 2012 8:38 AM

    Kind of helps explain how utterly confused and ineffective the Lions offense was on the last two positions of the game. Packers doubled Johnson so they end up throwing deep to Scheffler? Makes more sense now – it sucks, but it makes more sense.

  8. chc4 says: Nov 29, 2012 8:39 AM

    This behavior usually occurs once a WR has become an established stud. Not the case here clearly. This guy’s momma needs to slap him upside the head. He’ll be out of the league in no time.

  9. lrt79 says: Nov 29, 2012 8:41 AM

    It’s a shame a classy player like Calvin Johnson is stuck in Detroit with such dirtbags.

  10. puba76 says: Nov 29, 2012 8:42 AM

    Makes one wonder if they knew the fuse had been lit when they drafted Broyles, Young was a ticking time bomb waiting to blow! I didn’t think Burleson would be back next year, now I imagine if he’s healthy, he’ll be back, not Young.

  11. FinFan68 says: Nov 29, 2012 8:43 AM

    If that is true they should cut him and go after some of his contract money. Fans can deal with guys that mess up but are actually trying–this is something different. Intentionally sabotaging the team by “tanking” plays and actions similar to what is alleged is no better than point shaving scandals. The only difference is there does not appear to be somebody making money off it. The NFL should seriously consider a ban (if they can prove it) for conduct detrimental. Actions like this impact the integrity of the game and cannot be tolerated.

  12. mazblast says: Nov 29, 2012 8:45 AM

    “purposely lined up in the wrong place on the field ‘multiple times’”?

    Cut him, and tell every other team exactly why you’ve cut him. Well, every team outside your division, anyway. Show the little creep what sabotage is all about.

  13. rhamrhoddy says: Nov 29, 2012 8:45 AM

    Wow. These types of things won’t get you the damn ball more, in fact they may severely impact your future in the league.

    What players, coaches or fans want a guy like this on their team?

  14. gonowestmo says: Nov 29, 2012 8:48 AM

    Benched? Why haven’t they fired the punk?

  15. coldplay519 says: Nov 29, 2012 8:50 AM

    Cut him. No one will trade for him, and his upside does not warrant the distraction. We also don’t have to ever again see that stupid “flutter hand” thing he does every time he catches a ball, no matter how pointless a play it is.

  16. rekokiddo09 says: Nov 29, 2012 8:51 AM

    I usually just read the articles but this made me want to comment. As a Lions fan, this guy has to go. You would think with how big his ego is that he thinks hes better than Calvin. He’s a cancer, I’m sure we could find a sucker to make a trade for him. But this also shows that Schwartz and Mayhew still havent proved themselves when it comes to drafting. All of the arrests, and ” we’re above the law” additude is too prevelent. They haven’t accomplished anything yet!

  17. tatatoothy says: Nov 29, 2012 8:53 AM

    I am blown away by this guy’s actions. If the Lions can prove he was intentionally sabotaging their game, that’s a pretty serious deal. I’d suspend him indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team, then in about 3 years when his contract is up and he’s all but a forgotten has-been, release him. This guy has no place in the NFL.

  18. mavajo says: Nov 29, 2012 8:54 AM

    This kind of crap should void your contract. In any other job, if you purposely sabotage your employer, they can cut bait without owing you a dime.

    At a minimum, the Lions should be able to dock this guy a game check or two.

  19. jarvis1104 says: Nov 29, 2012 8:56 AM

    Didn’t know guys could be this selfish. I can’t even argue that this guy deserves a second chance with another team because DET has given him so many chances.

  20. godofwine330 says: Nov 29, 2012 8:58 AM

    Great post, Silva. The Singletary clip usage was on point. The guy sabotaging the offense because he wasn’t getting enough balls thrown his way is going to get him out of the NFL faster than if he flunked a bunch of drug tests. That is immature and short sighted.

    The Singletary clip could have been talking directly about Titus Young Sr.

  21. 319hike says: Nov 29, 2012 9:01 AM

    Wow! Terrel Owens was toxic on the sidelines and in the locker room, but never on the field.

  22. sfm073 says: Nov 29, 2012 9:03 AM

    This is unacceptable, he needs to be
    Cut.

  23. teamobijuan says: Nov 29, 2012 9:03 AM

    I’d say he volunteered himself for over-the-middle duty.

  24. wryly1 says: Nov 29, 2012 9:07 AM

    At the WR position, divas are still a dime a dozen in the NFL, while team oriented playmakers remain in short supply.

  25. sullijo1 says: Nov 29, 2012 9:07 AM

    Welcome to the used car sales department Titus, you’re desk is over there. By the way, we heard you once played in the NFL, why did you leave so soon?

  26. hatesycophants says: Nov 29, 2012 9:17 AM

    This shouldn’t be up for public discussion. However, if true, he needs an asskicking and a bus ticket home.

  27. gbmickey says: Nov 29, 2012 9:19 AM

    Does anyone get the sense Shwartz has lost the team much like Ryan has lost the Jets? How this guy is not cut or deactivated for the remainder of the season blows my mind. The inmates are running the asylum.

  28. bubba99m says: Nov 29, 2012 9:20 AM

    Young’s actions amount to no more than punching a hole in the hull of an already-sinking ship. Nonetheless, it was a mutinous act and he certainly should be walking the proverbial plank. And not likely any passing ships will want to pick him up.

    What is also interesting is that Birkett indicates the sabotage occurred “multiple times”. That does not give Lions fans any reason to believe the coaching staff has the level of competency to be effective in the NFL. If this incident had occurred in SF, NE or TX, Titus would have been a one-and-done guy. He’d be working on the sideline as a towel boy. This Detroit team has some great talent and a ton of potential, but sadly they are fast becoming the biggest joke in the League.

  29. enrgy2burn says: Nov 29, 2012 9:20 AM

    Why wasn’t this guy suspended for the remainder of the season for conduct detrimental to the team? I can’t imagine anyone not being immediately terminated for such insubordination. This is an organization that is allowing the inmates to run the asylum.

  30. whatjusthapped says: Nov 29, 2012 9:25 AM

    Addition by subtraction.

    Titus will learn quickly that “Do you want fries that?” is the ticket to holding on to his next job.

  31. jluns275 says: Nov 29, 2012 9:37 AM

    Poor organizational skills by Mayhew & Schwartz here.
    Mayhew should have cut him immediately.
    In the absence of his GM demanding any kind of accountability, Schwartz should have Young running with the scout team & deactivated the rest of his time there…only way to protect the team & teach Young how to be a man.

  32. 8to80texansblog says: Nov 29, 2012 9:42 AM

    Yeah I have no idea why this guy wasn’t on the waiver wire the next Monday. That is completely unacceptable.

    But, then look at that team… it starts from the top and Schwartz is a joke if you ask me. It pains me to say this as I have a lot of family in the Detroit area, but the Lions are a joke right now.

  33. nflhof says: Nov 29, 2012 9:45 AM

    Raiders will have this guy on their radar when they can. He fits their team perfectly.

  34. getyourownname says: Nov 29, 2012 9:48 AM

    What they should have done was trade him quickly, before all this came out, like Belicheck would have. Now, they get nothing.

    And like someone said, looking more and more like the coach is traveling in direction of Rex Ryan territory.

  35. lightcleric says: Nov 29, 2012 10:02 AM

    Wow, that’s pathetic.

    At least when Chad Johnson lined up in the wrong place it was because he didn’t know the playbook and had to ask Houshmandzadeh or Deion Branch…

  36. hehateme2 says: Nov 29, 2012 10:03 AM

    This team is so messed up. Looks like misery in Detroit will continue.

  37. nbcruinedpft says: Nov 29, 2012 10:05 AM

    I don’t know why you all seem so shocked and righteously outraged over this…this doesn’t surprise me one bit.

    The guy is the prototypical LION.

    This is just how the Lions are – they’ve replaced the Vikes as the pre-eminent dirtbag team of the North.

    From the bratty coach to the potheads to slimeball cheapshot artist troglodyte extraordinaire Suh – these guys all deserve each other.

  38. daknight93 says: Nov 29, 2012 10:19 AM

    Fire the coach! he has no control of his team cause this lions team has talent and potential, but lack discipline, I lost a bet with the lions on thanksgiving cause they lost and clearly should’ve won that game because they are an undisciplined team…this team is a reflection of their head coach…Extremely undiscipline!

  39. rj6976 says: Nov 29, 2012 10:42 AM

    Remember when Gary Sheffield would intentionally throw balls away because he felt his pitchers weren’t protecting him? If the Lions cut him, someone will give him a chance

  40. ernie ernie says: Nov 29, 2012 10:51 AM

    Probably all bull. I say he put a ton o money on the game and helped throw it for a big payday.

  41. Steeley McBeam says: Nov 29, 2012 10:59 AM

    I understand someone going by Jr and even putting that on the back of their jersey (although no one does), and RG the III is cool, but Titus Young Sr? This guy is obviously arragont and acting like Brandon Marshall when you play like Michael Crabtree isnt going to get you anywhere.

  42. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 29, 2012 11:10 AM

    At least this is a problem that can be corrected. Young can choose to not sabotage, and that’s the upside here. But where is the accountability of the coaching staff and the GM who continue to fail at their assignments and it’s not something they can simply choose to just win at if they don’t know how and seemingly don’t have the answers or solutions? That’s the big issue, and if that was corrected and managed properly, then Young wouldn’t have been put into a position to make this mistake in the first place.

    This doesn’t excuse Young’s behavior, but hopefully ownership of the team starts to consider the more serious and massive issues at the top of the food chain that NEED to be resolved first, otherwise all kinds of other problems will continue to be inevitable!

  43. castleofcheese says: Nov 29, 2012 11:13 AM

    And after the 2011 draft, all those Lions fans said they’d rather have him than Randall Cobb. Well, good news… you got him.

  44. mjzaky says: Nov 29, 2012 11:18 AM

    Lol what? Who the hell are you to sabotage an NFL team, Titus Young? You are a second-round nobody who has achieved nothing. Go sit on the bench till you decide to stop acting like a crybaby bitch and do what you are paid to do.

    I’ll never understand how you can be paid so much money and be so ungrateful- especially if you didn’t grow up with much.

  45. denverwally says: Nov 29, 2012 11:34 AM

    How this slug actually made it out of the locker room alive after intentionally screwing up the offense is beyond me, I would have thought the veterans on the Lions would have dismembered him after the game. He should consider himself lucky that the coaches deactivated him, for his own protection. This POS is taking food off the table of players fighting to win every snap of the football game.

  46. Cereal says: Nov 29, 2012 11:39 AM

    To talented to cut,,,they did the right thing. Maybe after some pine time he’ll get it

  47. torontofalcon says: Nov 29, 2012 11:56 AM

    This is why the lions will never be good (no disrespect) but you’d never see the patriots, falcons, saints, packers, or the mannings allow this. Lions let their players do w.e they want there is no discipline in the motor city

  48. mrwright313 says: Nov 29, 2012 12:00 PM

    The kid is 23, lay off him a bit. I’m not defending him or his actions, I’m just sick of people acting as if there’s no room for errors if you’re a pro athlete. There’s also this thing called college, which Titus went, that pretty much guarantees he’ll never man the fryer at Mcdonald’s or sell used cars.

    That being said, he’s going to be on a very short leash now, and I wouldn’t be suprised (or upset) if he wasn’t a Lion next year.

  49. 7nationals says: Nov 29, 2012 12:03 PM

    Ryan Broyles is the epitomy of the Team Player. He should of been starting ahead of this clown anyways. Before his injury at OU he was leading the NCAA. Hope to see more of him.

  50. intergalacticbronco says: Nov 29, 2012 12:08 PM

    Wow. I loved watching him play here in Boise. He had some issues early, but I thought he had gotten passed them. Clearly, he hasn’t. What an embarrassment and a waste of talent. Just cut the knucklehead.

  51. tindeaux says: Nov 29, 2012 12:20 PM

    the lions should do a surgery and remove the cancer all together.

  52. pappageorgio says: Nov 29, 2012 12:43 PM

    Mayhew likes to collect late 6th early 7th rd projects on draft day…..and he’ll get it. Some team will decide that a 2nd round reject from 2 years ago is better than what they see on the board in the 7th. With a year left on a rookie contract (and then an RFA year) it’s going to be worth it to someone.

    That’s the only reason he wasn’t cut.

    But in the end they’ll be wrong…..if this kid was at all consistent or talented he’d be blowing the doors off single coverage all day with CJ on the other side. Runs poor routes….never in the right spot….doesn’t like going over the middle….drops routine passes.

    Young literally does none of the little things that a 2nd WR should do. I saw more potential from Broyles last week than I’ve seen from Titus in 2 years. And Broyles isn’t even really 100% yet.

  53. z0inks says: Nov 29, 2012 12:48 PM

    I would say that intentionally and repeatedly lining up in the wrong spot would qualify as “conduct detrimental to the team”. The fact that even his teammates are glad to see him shut down speaks volumes.

    If I’m the Lions, I suspend him for the remainder of the season (for detrimental conduct), which means he no longer gets a paycheck. Of course, the NFLPA will file an appeal…..let them figure out a way to defend the guy and explain why he still deserves to be paid by a team that he was deliberately sabotaging.

    And no, I don’t cut him yet. Cutting him would allow him to shop his services elsewhere. No, if I’m the Lions, I want to leave Titus hung out to dry for a little while….let him twist in the wind for a few weeks, knowing that this is punishment. Put him in time-out, just like a two-year old.

    And for the record, two-year olds don’t get a paycheck, either.

  54. tjacks7 says: Nov 29, 2012 12:52 PM

    mrwright313 says:
    Nov 29, 2012 12:00 PM
    The kid is 23, lay off him a bit. I’m not defending him or his actions, I’m just sick of people acting as if there’s no room for errors if you’re a pro athlete. There’s also this thing called college, which Titus went, that pretty much guarantees he’ll never man the fryer at Mcdonald’s or sell used cars.

    —–

    Yea, good luck in the real world Titus. Ruining the entire organization isnt going to fly. You won’t get suspended, you’ll get terminated. Young would be lucky to man a fryer at McDonald’s for any length of time.

    Oh yea, and that comes from a 23 year old who graduated college but doesn’t think he’s entitled to have everything go his way.

  55. jimmylions says: Nov 29, 2012 12:54 PM

    The rumor is that Young’s ego went out of control after the Seahawks game where he had 9 catches and 2 TDs.

    He’s a talented kid … he just needs to straighten out his head.

    The fact that Schwartz is essentially giving Young one last chance says why Schwartz is a great coach … and is exactly the opposite of what the haters are saying about him.

    Ultimately, the purpose of disciplinary action is to try to correct behavior. It’s all on Young right now.

  56. lawyermalloy says: Nov 29, 2012 12:55 PM

    Why not suspend him w/o pay for conduct detrimental to the team?

  57. commonsensedude says: Nov 29, 2012 1:00 PM

    Instead of suspending him or cutting him, they could give him the “ultimate punishment.” Make him go on a nice long drive with Suh as his chauffeur. He’ll never misbehave again.

  58. sammievee says: Nov 29, 2012 1:10 PM

    I expect to hear a rebuttal from Titus’ agent stating that this is not true. That stated, I fully believe it is true. But how does anyone prove the mindset that it was intentional–including the Detroit Free Press author? Did Titus tell anyone he did this on purpose? I doubt he could be that stupid.

  59. ilovefootball2525 says: Nov 29, 2012 1:11 PM

    As a Boise State fan, I am very disappointed in Titus Young. What a terrible thing to do to your team.

  60. jmacphee9 says: Nov 29, 2012 1:15 PM

    djstat says:
    Nov 29, 2012 8:31 AM
    How about suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team? How about when he lines up wrong, the QB go get in his face, with the lineman backing him up?

    Lions still have no clue

    stafford did get in scream at him, in the middle of the snap count and it resulted in a penalty from gosder cherilus.

    also just because you dont see it, doesnt mean it hasnt happened.

    sucks that this is happening with such a talented player, and sucks even more that he sabotaged a game where we had a chance to win, especially at a key time like the cherilus offsides that schwartz said was due to stafford yelling at titus. that was a key third down:(

  61. sammievee says: Nov 29, 2012 1:16 PM

    What exactly is “multiple times”. Why doesn’t the lazy reporter do a bit more work and specify how many times? Multiple times can be “twice”, it could be “a dozen”. If it is “on purpose, than “twice” or “a dozen” is too much and the coaching staff should also be held accountable. Don’t you think that someone who had “purposely” lined up in the wrong position once should not be allowed to line up “purposely” in the wrong “multiple times”?

  62. stevelikesthesteelers says: Nov 29, 2012 1:28 PM

    Titus Young, Jr. is probably ashamed of his father right now.

  63. sparty0n says: Nov 29, 2012 1:38 PM

    Why is it that WRs are generally the headcases?

  64. randallflagg52 says: Nov 29, 2012 3:20 PM

    This bum was picked ahead of Torrey Smith?! That’s gotta sting if you’re a lions fan.

  65. larryboodry says: Nov 29, 2012 4:17 PM

    Steeley McBeam says: Nov 29, 2012 10:59 AM

    “This guy is obviously arragont and acting like Brandon Marshall when you play like Michael Crabtree isnt going to get you anywhere.”

    Brandon Marshall, since coming to the Bears, has played his tail off and been a model citizen on and off the field…To compare Young to Marshall (or Crabtree, for that matter) is ridiculous and makes you sound like a hater.

    Heck, in 40 years of watching football, NOBODY I’ve seen compares to the selfishness on display by Young here.

  66. mintberrycrunch1 says: Nov 29, 2012 4:45 PM

    Why would you cut him for nothing? That makes zero sense. You do exactly what Schwartz is doing, sit the kid and put him dead last on the depth chart and make him prove himself worthy of getting any sort if PT. He got the last and minimum snaps in practice. The guy has talent (~same stats as Torrey Smith last year) so you keep him around and hope he grows up and stops acting like a 13 year old girl. Some of you are acting like he’s back to being in a starting role and thats not the case. He will be sitting on the bench watching Broyles catch TD’s instead of him.

  67. blasterpastor says: Nov 30, 2012 12:33 PM

    23 years old, only his 2nd year in the NFL and he doesn’t have a brain in his head! He still thinks he’s the stud from Boise State. Who is going to hire you if you think like this? Other teams won’t. No business will hire someone they know deliberately sabotages whoever they work for when they don’t get their way. If he would only take this energy he’s putting into his nonsense and, instead, put it into studying film and learning the playbook, he could be the stud he thinks he is and he would have us all pulling for him. As it is, he comes off as a spoiled brat nobody cares about! It’s past time for the linemen to take this kid to school! It’s the PLAYERS’ livelihood he’s jacking around with!

  68. randallflagg52 says: Nov 30, 2012 2:26 PM

    blasterpastor says:
    Nov 30, 2012 12:33 PM
    23 years old, only his 2nd year in the NFL and he doesn’t have a brain in his head! He still thinks he’s the stud from Boise State.

    ====================================

    No one from Boise State should have this big of an ego. He’s used to being the big fish in a little pond, now he’s the little fish in a big pond he doesn’t know how to react.

  69. tommyribs says: Nov 30, 2012 4:35 PM

    That behavior is stunning. T.O. Moss and Chad Johnson wouldn’t do that on their worst days!

    Moss might have dogged it, but he wouldn’t sabotage, even when he was with the Raiders.

    I will say this, it sounds like Coach Schwartz is trying to teach Titus Young accountability, and how to be a man. He sees something there worth saving.

    I would have been fired for sure if I did something like that in my job.

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