May 29, 2012; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz during organized team activities at Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz met with the media on Tuesday following the team's OTA session. Most of what he discussed was related to the Lions' off-field issues, which we have already sort of covered. Even so, it's worth reading through the full list of quotes, as Schwartz provided a lot of insight on the issues. Via the Lions, here is the quote sheet (you can check out video of Schwartz's comments here):
On DT Nick Fairley's incident this past weekend: "No 1, I'm aware of the incident from this weekend; No. 2, I have addressed it with Nick and I did talk to the team about it this morning. But beyond that, I really don't have any comment.
"I don't want to confuse ‘no comment' with a situation like that which is a pending matter, with, ‘we don't take it serious,' or anything else. We do take it serious, but I don't have a comment on it right now."
On the issues of personal accountability and personal behavior and how it impacts the franchise: "Well there certainly is accountability, and that's always been the case, and there's a lot of different layers to that. There's a personal conduct policy, which is a league matter; there's team rules, there's team discipline; there's also a substance abuse program which is a league matter. So there's a lot of different layers to that discipline process, but I think what we have here is a case of a few guys tainting the reputations of a lot of others.
"We have 90 guys out here working, most of which are doing a very good job and working with a good goal in mind. But the actions of a few have affected the reputations of not just the other guys in the 90, but also the organization as a whole and that's not a good situation."
On whether it makes him angry that a few of his players are negatively impacting the reputation of the organization as a whole: "I'm a lot of things with that; concerned, angry - there's a lot of different words. It's disappointing also when our story is not about guys like Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Jeff Backus, Rob Sims... and I can keep going on. But that's the majority of this team. Unfortunately with situations like this, we all take ownership of problems that come to light that affect everybody.
On whether he questions whether the few players that have had problems ‘can be reached,' given that they've had multiple incidents: "I think that one thing to keep in mind there is: the issues we've had have been almost all young guys. Guys that are coming off their rookie years. It's obviously a big concern that the problems have come up more than once for a few guys. We've always had an approach of there's some maturing things that go on, there's some mistakes that guys make that they learn from and things like that. But what we have here is a situation that it appears that a couple guys haven't learned, and that is a concern. But they are still young and there's still a lot in front of them and we are hopeful that they can, with a lot of other means at their disposal and our disposal, be able to get this under control and be able to put it behind them."
On how much of this falls on the individual themselves as opposed to the whole franchise: "Well, it all goes hand-in-hand. I mean obviously, somebody that does something that's away from the club, we weren't condoning it or really have a hand in it. But when it starts affecting the reputation of not just the club, but the other of the 90 guys that are here, then all of the sudden it becomes more on everyone else's radar. There's a difference between affecting yourself and affecting your own reputation and affecting teammates and affecting the organization. That's a line that we've crossed over this last two months or whatever it's been."
On how Fairley has ‘played' so far in OTAs: "He's been playing like we expect him to play. Nick's a very talented player; he's been working very hard. None of that's going to matter if he's not available on the field for us."
On whether in retrospect the team took too many chances with players with character issues in the 2011 NFL Draft: "You know what, there's a lot of other incidents , a lot of other players, that've had a lot of different issues in college that have come in and have been fantastic, that haven't had issues that come up.
"I think you've got to take each case individually. Some of the issues that this class, so to speak, has had, have been things that were on the radar with them, but then also, we've had other incidents with things that are not part of their past. Then again, we've had some other guys that have had issues in the past that have been able to put them behind them. I think that we are talking about young players; we're talking about guys that were rookies last year. We certainly don't want to excuse it just because their young, but we've seen the actions of a few have affected the reputation of the whole."
On at what point a player runs out of chances: "I think with anything in life you reach a point that it's diminishing returns."
On WR Titus Young participating in OTAs: "Honestly that's one of those ones that it's going to be a work in progress. There is certain criteria for him to be able to come out and practice and play the way that we know that he can. He had an outstanding practice today. That doesn't erase the incidents that have occurred and it doesn't change the process that we're going to have for him to stay in good standard. Not just with the team but with his teammates. Again we're talking about a young guy a guy that has to change to be able to do what you said, to put it behind him. It's not going to be a one day thing. It's going to be over a long period of time."
On being limited on what he can do to reprimand players in volunteer situations: "There are rules as far as the league goes as part of the off-season program. It's been that way for a while. It's a voluntary part of the program. If somebody's late we can't fine them. We can fine them during (mandatory) mini-camp; we can fine them during training camp and regular season but this time of the year our hands are tied with those things. That's where you have to rely on leadership of your team and rely on the rest of the 90.
"Like I said we've had so many more examples of guys doing good things. We have guys doing tremendous things. I go back to last week. We had the charity event at the Bocce tournament and we had a great turnout of players there, including Kyle Vanden Bosch, Nate Burleson, Calvin Johnson, I mean marquee players, higher profile players that all took a long drive to be able to show up and support that event. All of those guys have had outstanding offseasons. They've done really good things. The story wasn't about them. The story was about something other than that and that's the thing that's most disappointing is that the story of a few has taken over for the good story which is the whole group."
On whether it's a concern that getting in trouble once wasn't enough of a wake-up call for Fairley and RB Mikel Leshoure: "That's the thing that is most concerning about it. There's a lot of guys that have an issue in the past. There's a lot of guys that have maturing situations and lessons they've learned from. I think that goes for everybody. That goes for me, that goes for everybody here. There's things that you do when you're young that maybe you're not proud of but you learn a lesson and it doesn't happen. We've had a couple situations here where it has happened twice. It certainly calls for concern that they haven't learned it and it puts more focus on it from our standpoint. It's how I talked about the other situation. I don't think it's going to be behind them right away. There's going to be some process involved in a lot of these situations."
On when he met with Fairley: "I met with him this morning."
On S Louis Delmas leaving practice early: "He had an ankle roll, we had a couple different things."
On DE Kyle Vanden Bosch not finishing practice: "That's just protocol for him."
On S Amari Spievey not participating: "He's going to start working his way back; we have protocol we have to follow there with getting him back. We'll get him back on the field pretty quickly."