Covid-19 is actually doing the Detroit Lions a favor. It is keeping the media out of the dressing room and preventing it from finding out the truth about the Lions.
Following Sunday’s 20-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers it looks like an old but deadly disease has hit this team again. It’s not the corona virus or Covid-19. It’s called I-75 eyes. At this point of the season players admitted to my media brothers and sisters that they already had boxes and bags packed to make their exit from Detroit to their home towns or old college towns.
They were not focused as much on football as they were at getting the heck out of town.
But you don’t get stories like that on zoom calls or during press conferences. You get those stories by being in the dressing room and building up the trust of players.
Do you know who looks like they have I-75 eyes? Quarterback Matthew Stafford. All you have to do is look at Mama Stafford’s Instagram account. It looks like Kelly Stafford wants out. And if Momma wants out you know she is in daddy’s ear.
Next look at Stafford’s play on the field. He is excellent the final two minutes of the half and games. The meat of the game? Not so much.
Players get excited when coaches call gadget plays. The Lions worked one to perfection when Stafford fired a 51-yard flea flicker touchdown to Marvin Jones. The problem is someone lined up in the wrong spot and the play was called back because of penalty.
When you stop an opponent on fourth and five and a half yards to go, then jump offsides twice to give it a first down, that’s I-75 eyes.
When you allow at XFL reject named RJ Walker to carve you up, that’s I-75 eyes.
When you get shut out, which rarely happens in the NFL, that’s I-75 eyes.
It’s a deadly disease.
Fans and media want to ship coach Matt Patricia and General Manager Bob Quinn south down I-75. I do too. But that might not solve the problem. The Ford family and its backward thinking remains. And they will continue to get bad advice from Team President Rod Wood, who pushed to have coach Jim Caldwell fired when Martha Firestone Ford wanted to keep him. Wood insisted that the Quintricia experiment would work.
We need to ship them all down I-75 to Boca Raton.
Who wants in? Who wants out? We will never get the truth when the media gets its information via zoom calls. The team is watching. The coaches are watching. You don’t get the truth during zoom calls or press conferences. You get the truth when you put your note pads and tape recorders down and talk to players like human beings.
If you build up enough of a relationship some of them will let you in. Instead you get Stafford telling the world that players are absolutely responding to Patricia.
“We got to go out there and play better than we’re playing,” Stafford said. “I don’t care who you are as a coach, if we don’t go out there and play better it doesn’t matter.”
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