Twentyman: The Lions woes aren't as simple as placing blame on 'a couple guys'

Posted Dec 7, 2012

An anonymous player within the Lions locker room believes the team is 4-8 because "a couple guys don't know how to win."

If the problem was truly just with a couple players who haven't figured out how to win, like this anonymous player believes, that seems like a pretty easy fix this offseason. Unfortunately, it's not that simple.

The player spoke with Yahoo! Sports' Jason Coles after the team's 35-33 loss to the Colts last week.

"Yeah, we're loaded," the player told Cole. "But we have a couple of guys who don't understand what it takes to win. Just making a couple of plays and thinking that makes you great ... sometimes you want to just shake some of these guys and say, 'Don't you get it?'"

Cole then asked to name one of those teammates. The player responded: "Ndamukong [Suh] would be first.

"He's focused for 90 percent of the time. But it's the 10 percent that kills you ... With [Suh], he loses his cool and all of a sudden we're blowing a play or dealing with some controversy. When stars act like that, everybody else thinks it's OK to act like that. It's like with kids. You let one get a little out of control, the other one does the same thing pretty quick. It's human nature."

Suh did look like he was trapped inside on the game's final play last week, which allowed Andrew Luck to escape the pocket and extend the play, ultimately resulting in a 14-yard touchdown pass with no time remaining in the game.

It was simply one mistake in a game filled with many from a lot of different players.

Missed tackles, dropped passes, poor coverage, bad throws and a couple bad rush techniques all had a hand in the loss over the course of the entire game.

To blame the Lions' woes on Suh or on only a couple players is shortsighted and a cop out. The Lions have taken a number of different paths to losing games at the end.

The fact is, everyone in that locker room has a hand in the struggles this year. The coaching staff included.

It's simply convenient to blame the one player who's been a lightning rod for criticism all season.

Has this anonymous player said anything to Suh? How about the other guys that are supposedly the problem? Has he tried to offer some words of wisdom? Has he stood up in a team meeting and offered any suggestions?

The fact that he didn't bother to put his name behind the comments suggests the answer is no.

If some players in the locker room have already started pointing fingers instead of looking how their play was part of the problem and how improving it can be part of solution, then the Lions have more difficult personnel decisions this offseason than I originally thought.