Most NFL coaches spend the period between the conclusion of the offseason program and the start of training camp sleeping with one eye on the cell phone. Last year, Lions coach Jim Schwartz may have eventually decided to quit sleeping altogether.
This year, it’s a different story, at least recently. Yes, safety Amari Spievey was arrested in March and defensive end Ronnell Lewis was arrested in April. But that’s jaywalking in comparison to the 2012 offseason, which had seven off-field incidents and a decision to send Titus Young home from OTAs.
From a playoff berth in 2011 to a 4-12 record the next year, the Lions believe 2012 was the aberration. The team’s ability to avoid trouble suggests that perhaps there’s a greater degree of maturity and accountability — and possibly leadership — in the locker room.
It doesn’t mean the team will match its feats from two years ago, but it can’t hurt.