Jim Schwartz says discipline not an issue for Lions
As the penalties continue to pile up for the Detroit Lions – they had 11 for 107 yards in their most recent loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night – the club is working to solve the issue.
Coach Jim Schwartz didn’t waste any time working on the matter, according to Anwar Richardson of MLive.com, calling a small meeting on the team’s charter flight home. He met with captains Dominic Raiola, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Matthew Stafford and John Hanson to review what’s happened in recent weeks.
But while everyone else is calling the Lions undisciplined, Schwartz refuses to put that label on his bunch.
"It doesn't have anything to do with discipline," Schwartz said. "I think we've been much improved when it comes to our pre-snap penalties. We had one (major penalty) in the opener, we addressed it and we went a pretty long time without them.
"The other thing is we don't have a player who has gotten more than one of these. We had Gosder (Cherilus), we had (Ndamukong) Suh, we had the three guys this week. There hasn't been repeat offenders, but as a team, we've had five this year. That's way too many."
In fact, Schwartz praised his players from walking away from a number of situations that could have drawn more penalties.
"I say this in all honestly, and I certainly don't want to excuse anything, we had a lot of incidents in this game of guys walking away from things," he said. "They (Saints) had a defensive lineman that took a swing at one of our offensive lineman. I mean it's as blatant as you can get during the play and our guy doesn't retaliate.”
Still, the Lions are piling up yellow flags fast and they are not playing well enough to overcome those problems, no matter how Schwartz wants to couch the issue.
"Last week's was addressed from a team standpoint, but also from a league standpoint,” he said. “We didn't wait until after the game with this one, either. Obviously, everything on the field is a reflection of the organization, a reflection of the head coach, it's a reflection of all the coaches, it's a reflection of the players. That's not a presentation we want. It's something that puts the team in a bad position. Selfish play won't be tolerated."
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune