It seems Detroit has another team with a Bad Boy reputation. This time it is on the grid iron.
A year ago the Detroit Lions were dirty and undisciplined. This year they are dirty and devious. Why the change?
In 2012, the Detroit Lions committed personal foul penalties at key points in the game making it difficult for the Lions to win. Now it seems those penalties are coming at the right time. A time when a penalty won’t cost the team a chance to win. Winning is the difference between being stupid and being calculated. Now more and more players on opposing teams are mentioning the Lions ‘dirty play” in press conferences and media reports. The growing “dirty’ reputation is in part due to the efforts of the leaders of the defense.
A teams playing style often reflects the personality of their leader. A couple of years ago Ndamukong Suh established a reputation for being a dirty player. Suh has also established himself as the leader of the Detroit Lions defense. After a couple of years with countless personal foul penalties and fines, The reputation is starting to spread to the entire team. It seems all the fines are money well spent considering NFL teams are starting to take notice and even game plan for the Detroit Lions intensity.
The latest examples are the comments this week coming from Emmanuel Sanders and Ben Rothlesberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In comments to the Pittsburgh media this week, Ben Rothlisberger showed he is very aware of the presence of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley rushing up the middle.
Well, yeah, you’ve got to be careful,” he said. “You’ll end up dead if you’re not careful. This is a great D-line and defense. Yeah, well, I tell myself all the time to be alert for those things. But then, when the bullets are flying, who knows what’s going to happen?”
Then later in the week Emanuel Sanders reinforced Detroit’s Bad Boy image when he made these comments to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
We’re definitely not going to get bullied,” Sanders said. “That’s not going to happen around here. Nobody is going to bully no one around here. But you don’t want to put your team in a bad position where you get a personal foul or anything of that sort. As far as matching their intensity, we’re definitely going to match their intensity. No one is going to walk over us.”
For two opposing players to mention the Detroit Defenses style of play in separate media reports says a lot. It says that the Pittsburgh Steelers are discussing in team meetings and among themselves.
It seems the Lions are already in the Steelers heads. That might be just what they need to finally come away with a win in Pittsburgh.