Jim Schwartz 'concerned, angry' with Lions' off-field issues

Unfortunately, the Detroit Lions did not allow media access to recent headline makers Nick Fairley and Titus Young.

It would be nice to hear from them about their recent transgressions that have painted both them and the Lions in a negative light. Of course, the team did provide a statement from Young on its official Web site, the kind of service that always makes one wonder how much of the statement was actually crafted by the player. But we digress.

The club did make coach Jim Schwartz available. Predictably, he was not very happy, not after the most recent problem with Fairley being arrested in Alabama, charged over the weekend with DUI and attempting to elude police when he was reportedly driving 100 mph with an open container in his vehicle.

What we have here is a case of a few guys tainting the reputations of a lot of others,” Schwartz said, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. “The actions of a few have affected the reputations of not just the other guys on the team but the organization as a whole and obviously, that's not a good situation.

“I am a lot of things. Concerned, angry — a lot of different words. It's disappointing, also, when the story is not about guys like Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Brandon Pettigrew, Rob Sims — and I can list a whole lot more, the majority of the team. Unfortunately, situations like these we all take ownership when problems like these come to light.”

The Lions have also head negative headlines recently as running back Mikel Leshoure was twice arrested this offseason, charged with marijuana possession. Fairley has also been arrested on marijuana charges.

“The issues we have here have involved young guys, guys coming off their rookie year,” Schwartz said. “It's obviously a big concern that the problems have come up more than once with a couple of guys. You always approach this with the idea that guys will make mistakes and learn from them. It appears that a couple of guys haven't.

“It is a concern but they are still young and there is still a lot in front of them. We are hopeful that with the means at their disposal and the means at our disposal, they will eventually be able to put this behind them.”

This sounds like a speech we’ve heard before. Schwartz makes a good point that wonderful deeds done by players like Stafford get lost when this type of stuff happens. Maybe the Lions will learn their lesson. There is a lot at stake for a young club that experienced the postseason last year.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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