LIONS INSIDER

Titus Young apologizes to teammates

Posted May 29, 2012

Lions receiver Titus Young was back on the practice field for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) on Tuesday after missing all of last week following an incident where he reportedly punched teammate Louis Delmas in a team training session.

Young released a statement through the team before practice and also addressed his offensive teammates in a pre-practice meeting.

"He just kindly stepped up and took responsibility and apologized," said Lions receiver Nate Burleson. "Nobody told him to. We were actually getting up heading to the field. He kind of stopped everybody and I could see there was a maturity about him that has shown up in a big way. "That’s appreciated. Guys make mistakes; sometimes people are too stubborn to admit it. Not Titus."

In his statement, Young apologized for his actions and admitted they weren’t up to the standards of the Lions. He also said his absence last week was "necessary," though he didn’t elaborate.

"My recent actions have not always been up to the standards the Lions expect or the standards that I expect from myself," the statement read. "I am truly sorry for those times when I didn’t meet those standards. "My absence from the practice facility and the OTAs last week was necessary for both myself and the team. "The time away from the team afforded me the opportunity to reflect and come to the realization that by putting those incidents behind me I will be able to focus on becoming the best teammate and player that I can be."

Young assumed his role with the first-team offense during Tuesday's practice and was among a number of players returning punts.

"Honestly that's one of those ones that it's going to be a work in progress,” Schwartz said of Young’s return to voluntary practices. “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."

Burleson said the receivers have already moved on from the incident and are looking forward to Young being a big contributor on offense this season.

"I walked over to him and wrapped him up, rubbed him on his head and told him I was glad to have him back," Burleson said of seeing Young back at the facility. "As much as he might frustrate me sometimes, I love that kid.""Hopefully Titus just realizes how much of a component he is to this team, especially to this receiver corps. He’s a big piece of the puzzle, no doubt."

The Lions are expecting big things from Young after catching 48 passes for 607 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie.

Note: The Lions were without defensive end Cliff Avril (contract), linebacker Stephen Tulloch (knee), linebacker Doug Hogue (cut on arm) and safety Amari Spievey (undisclosed) for practice Tuesday. "He's going to start working his way back," Schwartz said of Spievey. "We have protocol to follow there with getting him back. We'll get him back on the field pretty quickly." Safety Louis Delmas rolled his ankle midway through practice and did not return, but Schwartz didn't seem too concerned about it.