Lions embracing bad boy image on the field

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Nate Burleson seems to think the Detroit Lions are back after what might have been a season-saving 26-23 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in overtime on Sunday.

We’ll see if he’s right in the coming weeks.

Burleson suggested one of the keys is the Lions embrace a “bad boy” image on the field, a role they capably filled off the field when the club led the NFL in offseason arrests with seven.

We had a lot of discipline issues in the off-season, and we wanted to tighten up because the perception of this organization started to change,” Burleson said, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “What we worked for was getting torn down, and we wanted to be more of a mature team. But finding that maturity off the field can't compromise who we are on the field. And who we are on the field are the bad guys. We're the ones that nobody wants to see succeed, and we like it that way. We play better that way.

“I think everybody took it in their own hands to be better men off the field, and that followed us a little bit on the field. But I think we're back where we need to be.”

Burleson believes it’s a mind-set on the field but certainly the team doesn’t want to replicate what happened in Philadelphia when it came to penalties. The Lions racked up 16 that cost them 132 yards in the game, typically a recipe for disaster.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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