[PODCAST] Same 'Ole Lions
Shep takes calls and talks about the Lions' reactions regarding Tony Dungy's comments that they're the "Same Old Lions".
I hear it every Monday: "same old Lions." I have tried to defend them in certain situations before, but their performance Sunday in Arizona is indefensible. This team...win or lose....makes the same mistakes every week. I wonder a few things when I watch this team: 1) does it possess a high football IQ? If it does, it sure isn't showing it. It's not just the number of penalties (8-101 yards), but the timing of such penalties. Why isn't it learning from these consistent miscues. 2) is Matthew Stafford given the reigns to truly "control" this offense? I see the greats of the game like Brady and Manning and Rodgers own their offense; run it with a sense of urgency and precision that needs to happen at certain times during a game, where is that with this Lions offense. 3) Who is the bad guy? In other words, who is the guy who holds everyone accountable. Who is this teams Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady to DEMAND more from players; DEMAND them to play smarter and better. Finally, and maybe most importantly, who is getting better? Whick young guys have improved so much under this coaching staff? Is Stafford as good as he can be? Has Pettigrew gotten better or any of the other young players (Fairley or Suh)? That concerns me because these players are in the primes of their careers and they're not progressing at the rate they should be.
I constantly hear the players on this team tell me, "they have to play smarter." And yet they are constantly making key mistakes at key points in a game. I am constantly told the margin between winning and losing is so thin. Well guess what? That thin line is the one that this team walks every Sunday by making stupid plays and bad decisions. Stop talking about playing smarter and start doing it!
It's only two games into the season, but this team already has the habits that held it back in the 16-week campaign last year. It MUST change or this NFL season will be as frustrating and disappointing as last year...or any other year in Lions history.
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Matt Shepard is the play-by-play voice of University of Michigan basketball, Eastern Michigan University football and the Detroit Lions television network. He can also be found on TV locally on Fox Sports Detroit and nationally on the Big Ten Network for college hockey and baseball.Learn more.