Schwartz: "I'm a lot of things ... concerned, angry - there's a lot of different words"

Posted May 29, 2012

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz didn't mince any words when he was asked about the repeated off-the-field problems his team has faced this offseason.

"I'm a lot of things with that; concerned, angry - there's a lot of different words," Schwartz told the media following Tuesday's Organized Team Activity.

"It's disappointing also when our story is not about guys like Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Jeff Backus, Rob Sims ... and I can keep going on. But that's the majority of this team. Unfortunately with situations like this, we all take ownership of problems that come to light that affect everybody."

The latest incident Schwartz was asked about Tuesday was the arrest of defensive tackle Nick Fairley early Sunday morning for a DUI and evading police. It was Fairley's second run-in with the law this offseason. He was also arrested in April for possession of marijuana.

This weekend's incident was the fifth of the offseason for the Lions. Running back Mikel Leshoure was cited twice for marijuana possession three weeks apart and offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath was also caught with marijuana early this offseason.

There was also an incident involving a training session scuffle between receiver Titus Young and safety Louis Delmas, where Young reportedly punched Delmas. Young returned to the practice field for the first time Tuesday since that incident.

All of those players are members of the 2011 draft class.

"I think that one thing to keep in mind there is: the issues we've had have been almost all young guys," Schwartz said. "Guys that are coming off their rookie years. It's obviously a big concern that the problems have come up more than once for a few guys.

"We've always had an approach of there's some maturing things that go on, there's some mistakes that guys make that they learn from and things like that. But what we have here is a situation that it appears that a couple guys haven't learned, and that is a concern."

Fairley and Young did not speak to the media following the practice, but some of their teammates were inevitably forced to talk about them.

"We don't want to be one of those quote-unquote teams labeled as bad boys," said Lions receiver Nate Burleson. "Bad Boys are something different in Detroit. Not the Detroit Lions.

"We worked so hard that anything that takes tension off the sweat, blood and tears we put in, is always frustrating. We'd rather talk to you guys about how much we're busting our (butts) out here than answer questions about mistakes."

Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said he's trying not to let these repeated incidents be a distraction.

"Nothing is going to take away from what we are doing and how hard we are working and the progress we are making," Vanden Bosch said.

It certainly seems Schwartz has had enough.

"When it starts affecting the reputation of not just the club, but the other 90 guys that are here, then all of the sudden it becomes more on everyone else's radar," Schwartz said.

"There's a difference between affecting yourself and affecting your own reputation and affecting teammates and affecting the organization. That's a line that we've crossed over these last two months or whatever it's been."