Jim Schwartz didn't punt in the face of a battery of questions regarding the latest incident of bad behavior by one of his players.
Schwartz didn't retreat into a defensive shell, and he didn't hand off the chore of expressing his range of emotions and the leadership responsibility that goes with being head coach of the Lions.
It didn't take a law degree or a microscope to read between the lines and catch the ultimate message from Schwartz, that players have to be accountable for their actions.
The bottom line: if they continue to get in trouble, they'll run out of chances. That message should be sobering - no pun intended - for
Near the end of his session with the media on Tuesday, Schwartz was asked if players can run out of chances.
"That's the thing that's the most concerning about it," Schwartz said. "There's a lot of guys that have had an issue in the past. There's a lot of guys that have had maturing situations, lessons they learned from.
"That goes for everybody. There are things you do when you're young that maybe you're not proud of."We've had a couple situations where it has happened twice. It's certainly cause for concern that they haven't learned from it.
"I don't think any of this is going to be, 'Hey, it's behind them right away.' There's going to be some process involved in a lot of these situations."
The Lions are getting national coverage - on the front page, competing for space with stories about crime, war and political scandal - instead of on the sports page. Their public image has been battered this offseason, and it took a deeper dent from Fairley's second arrest.
Fairley's first arrest was 44 days earlier, April 23 and also in Mobile, for marijuana possession.
Leshoure was arrested twice in west Michigan for marijuana possession within a span of 22 days - Feb. 18 and March 12.
Earlier in the year,
When Schwartz referred to Young Tuesday, he used the word "incidents," indicating that it was not a single occurrence that kept him out of practice. When players get in trouble repeatedly, there has to be a burning temptation of the part of management to push them out the door.
Certainly, a large segment of the fan base wants punishment, but banishing young players with potential won't make the Lions better.
There has to be a balance point when a player's unwillingness to act responsibally outweighs his value to a team. And Fairley and Leshoure have to be creeping close to that point.
Fairley and Leshoure are almost certain to face suspension from the league - probably a minimum of four games each - for their transgressions. Legalities, and team and league policies aside, Schwartz did not hold back on his feelings.
"There are a lot of different layers to that discipline process, but what I think what we have here is a case of a few guys tainting the reputations of a lot of others," Schwartz said.
"We have 90 guys out here working, most of which are doing a very good job and working with a good goal n mind, but the actions of a few have affected the reputations of not just the other guys in the 90 but the organization as a whole."
Someone asked if he's angry.
"I'm a lot of things with that," Schwartz said. "Concerned, angry - there's a lot different words.
"That's the majority of this team. Unfortunately, situations like this, we all take ownership of problems that come to light that affect everybody."