The Lions have lacked veteran leadership in recent years. Running back Reggie Bush deserves credit for trying to fill the void.
Given that Bush rarely has said anything controversial during his eight-year NFL career, his decision to repeatedly talk about the problems with his latest team suggests that he has tried to get his point across behind the scenes, and that guys simply won’t listen.
Bush previously has said that the team doesn’t have discipline. On Friday, Bush said the team also lacks chemistry.
“As a team, when you have kind of have that mentality that no matter what the situation is, you can always overcome it and come out with a win,” Bush said, via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. “That type of chemistry. . . . And you’re feeding off each other, too. When offense scores a big touchdown and defense goes out there and gets a big stop or defense gets a turnover, offense goes out there and kind of answers with a touchdown. Something kind of like that.”
Bush said that in some games one unit thrived and the other units failed to hold up their end of the bargain.
“There were certain games where maybe the offense was playing well and the defense struggled,” Bush explained. “Then there’s games where defense played well and offense struggled. Or there’s games — I’m thinking of the Philadelphia game — where special teams just played lights out and offense and defense couldn’t really get it together.”
Bush has tried to help the Lions get it together. At one point, Bush believed a team meeting was needed. Quarterback Matthew Stafford believed it wasn’t.
So how can the Lions build chemistry?
“It’s not something that happens overnight, from my experience in the past,” Bush said. “It’s something that you build. It’s a culture, it’s a mentality that’s built from the offseason. It doesn’t start in Week One and Week Two.”
As the Lions tinker with their roster in the coming months, here’s hoping they find more guys who think like Bush, or at a minimum who will be receptive to his message and example of what it takes to get to the top of the mountain.