Detroit Lions win despite unruly behavior
Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions has to be ready to gnaw his own leg off. But that would probably be after he chewed on the posterior of DE Willie Young. Players are like grand kids; if one isn’t dumping the potty chair contents onto the bathroom floor, the other is pouring maple syrup on top of the dog.
Schwartz and several team mates were visibly irritated by Young’s post-whistle personal foul for taunting Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady. Holding on to Brady’s jersey, Young then pointed a finger in the quarterback’s face and said something. There was a official nearby and within a split second, there was also some yellow fabric on the ground and instead of shutting down the Patriots, the ball was moved 15 yards in their favor and Brady was allowed to continue his attempt to jump start New England’s sputtering offense.
In replays, Israel Idonije could be presumed to be seen yapping at Young, as were some other players. It was a foolish error and one that got Young immediately benched. It will have to be seen if this act sends Young packing; the tolerance for such nonsense is limited, both within and outside the organization.
The overall intensity of the defensive unit was admirable as they attempted to prove that they are not the doormat they appeared to be last week against Cleveland. But Young needs to realize, like so many Lions players, that when the whistle blows and in its immediate aftermath, that switch has to be turned off momentarily.
The same thing can be said for DT Nick Fairley, who after a play was obviously over, gave a shove in the back to a Patriots’ player, a maneuver that was within clear vision of an official. The Lions got another 15 yarder out of it, and lucked out as the play was a turnover in Detroit’s favor and Fairley’s love tap was after the change of possession occurred.
In all, Detroit played a good game in spite of themselves. They generated four turnovers, something that can only be accomplished with aggressive play. But overaggression cost them some 102 yards on 11 penalties. Some can argue that this is the preseason and it really doesn’t matter right now, but everyone can agree that while the Black and Blue style aggression is good, it needs to be delivered in a controlled manner and the post-whistle foolishness must stop now.
Calling Willie Young…
Earl Richmond is a long-suffering Detroit Lions fan, NFC North observer and division writer for TPF. He can be reached at ERichmond@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com or on Twitter @HoggerRob