Tom Lewand expects better from young Lions players

Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand didn’t come down very hard on three players, all from the club’s 2011 draft class, that have been arrested this offseason and charged with possession of marijuana.

First-round draft pick Nick Fairley, second-round pick Mikel Leshoure and seventh-round pick Johnny Culbreath have all been busted this offseason. Leshoure has been arrested twice with the drug and now faces a felony charge in Michigan.

But Lewand, who two years ago went through a public DUI arrest, was very easygoing in discussing the matters that could lead to suspensions for the players from the NFL.

That is something that should be avoided," Lewand said on WJR-AM, according to "But as we all know from life's experiences, it happens, people make mistakes, and you want to give guys opportunities to correct those mistakes, learn from them and move forward."

"You are held to a high standard. I know that firsthand and I've learned that lesson myself. That's a lesson we all have to learn and we have to take it to heart when that adversity is there. When we make mistakes, we've got to learn from them and grow as human beings."

Basically, Lewand said they are young players and he hopes they learn. Leshoure, it should be noted, was suspended for a game while at Illinois for a positive marijuana drug test.

"In the case of all of our guys, they are good guys, and we still have to remember at times -- and this is not to excuse anyone's behavior -- but guys are young," Lewand said. "I think when all of us were in our early 20's the feeling of invincibility was a lot higher than maybe it is today.

"Those guys that are in last year's draft class have a lot of work to do and that work starts next week. They have to come in and begin to really take on the responsibility as members of the Detroit Lions that we're expecting them to take to help us get to the next level."

Maybe it’s just me, but I’d expect a little more stern message to be delivered. The Lions have had discipline issues on and off the field and those are issues that are often traced to the very top of an organization.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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