Gunther Cunningham says Lions aren't undisciplined
Jim Schwartz is adamant the Detroit Lions do not have a discipline problem.
Gunther Cunningham, the team’s defensive coordinator, is frankly bothered by that very suggestion. Never mind the Lions have racked up 22 penalties in the last two games, six of them personal fouls, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
“There's some ex-coaches on television, in the media, making statements. Why don't they come and talk to me about it?” Cunningham said. “Tell them to face me and come and talk to me about it. Don't tell me how to coach. They were in high school and maybe not even born when I started this business.
“The media, the rest of you, you do your job. But those guys, to tell Jim Schwartz how to coach, to tell me how to coach, good luck. They're not coaching, they're on TV. I wonder why they're on TV. There's a reason for that and I'm still standing in front of you and we're still coaching.”
That’s great but the there is no other way to characterize the play by the Lions which Cunningham would surely admit has helped in taking the team out of games. The Lions have a very clear problem – they’re being penalized too much and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will miss Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field, serving the second of his two-game suspension for stomping on a Green Bay Packers offensive line. If that’s not a discipline issue, what is it? When Stefan Logan flips a ball at a Saints player like he did last week for a 15-yard penalty, that’s a lack of discipline. When tight end Brandon Pettigrew makes contact with an official for a 15-yard penalty, that’s also a lack of discipline.
“I tell my guys (on defense to) play in between the lines,” Cunningham said. “Hit them when you see their eyes. We don't hit guys in the back. We're going to hit them right in the head and face, all over the body, as long as they're looking at us.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune