Former Detroit Lions defensive end Lawrence Jackson has never been afraid to speak his mind about his former team or anything else. He once said he didn’t have much respect for his former head coach Jim Schwartz. He opened up to the Detroit Free Press about his depression and suicidal thoughts. While some have criticized Jackson for being overly critical of the team that decided not to re-sign him in 2013, other have praised him for his transparency and honesty, a rare thing among NFL athletes taught to always toe the line and keep things bottled up.
Now that the Lions have moved on from the Schwartz era and have become a somewhat competitive team, Jackson sees the franchise much differently. On Tuesday morning, he took to Twitter to express his excitement over the perceived turnaround. Specifically, Jackson wanted to point out how it is clear Matthew Stafford has taken a new step in his career.
But as I suggested...they got a new GM and new Head Coach and new Scouting Department and Developed Stafford properly and got DB's.— Lawrence Jackson (@LoJackson94) October 18, 2016
Since Stafford has turned into a QB resembling more mature QB's in their decision making and throws...he's been lights out...— Lawrence Jackson (@LoJackson94) October 18, 2016
But Jackson doesn’t think the improvement stops with Stafford, he sees this entire franchise set in the right direction after wasting so many years on failed management.
It takes time to create a new culture. Detroit messed up by promoting people from the M----N Era it didn't make sense and wasted years.— Lawrence Jackson (@LoJackson94) October 18, 2016
Detroit seems to have a long-term approach to developing a sustainable program. Not playing it one year at a time. They're on a journey.— Lawrence Jackson (@LoJackson94) October 18, 2016
If any fan base should be excited about the future it should be the Lions. I love the Raiders but the Lions are good too.— Lawrence Jackson (@LoJackson94) October 18, 2016
Of course, it needs to be pointed out that Jackson never appeared to get along with head coach Schwartz. Though he never went public with his discontent during his time with the Lions, Jackson never felt he got respect from Schwartz and even called him a liar the year after leaving Detroit. So it makes sense that Jackson is happy the Lions have a new regime in place. That being said, not many opposed the firing of Schwartz when it happened, and by the middle of the season in 2015, most agreed that the promotion of Millen-hangovers Martin Mayhew and Tom Lewand were bad mistakes from the Lions.