Former Lions defensive lineman Lawrence Jackson is ripping the Lions for losing Ndamukong Suh in free agency, saying an arrogant front office has failed to do enough to keep its key players while coddling quarterback Matthew Stafford.
“As a player and understanding how it goes, and understanding the caliber of player that Ndamukong is, you don’t table talks,” Jackson told the Detroit Free Press. “You keep them open until you figure something out. But I think the organization, from the front-office perspective, is very arrogant. And they’ve been known to do things like say we’re tabling discussions and things in that ballpark because of how they feel about themselves.”
Jackson added that Stafford gets away with being lazy because the team doesn’t demand otherwise. According to Jackson, the franchise quarterback should be leading by example, but in Detroit it was Suh and Calvin Johnson who did that.
“You see clips of Peyton Manning, however limited they are, you see him drilling his pocket presence, his footwork and different things like that,” Jackson said. “The time period I was out there [in Detroit], I didn’t see any consistent drills like that on a daily basis where he’s working on the drops and evading the rush and different things like that. . . . In my opinion, when you’re making that kind of money and you’re the face of the franchise, you put in work. And I don’t think that I was the only one to question that. When you see a guy like Calvin and Ndamukong working hard on a daily basis, doing extra stuff, and you don’t really see that from the quarterback, it’s like how can you be mad with the results? Because it’s not a high demand they’re placing on him for improvement.”
Whether Jackson is right or wrong about Stafford’s work ethic, there’s no question that he’s right that Stafford hasn’t improved as a passer since the Lions gave him a huge contract extension three years ago. That contract is part of the reason they can’t afford to keep Suh. Which means it would be nice to see Stafford do the work necessary to live up to the money the Lions are paying him.