The Detroit Lions are in a dog fight for the NFC North crown after having a controlling lead in the division, and running back Reggie Bush believes the Lions struggles are due to a lack of team discipline.
“It could be from penalties or it could be from turnovers or it could be from how we finished the games in fourth quarters,” Bush said via ESPN.com. “It’s not one specific play or moment in a game. It’s the total game. It’s how we play.”
Bush made sure not to blame coaching for the Lions lack of discipline, instead putting the onus on the players.
“It’s not a coaches thing. It’s a players’ thing. We can do a better job all across the board,” he said. “As far as an offense standpoint, turn the ball over and that’s the discipline issue and that’s something that we have to correct because obviously as you see it’ll lose you games.”
Bush’s comments could be viewed as a subtle jab at Matthew Stafford, who threw three interceptions in Monday’s loss the the Ravens — accounting for all of the Lions turnovers — and has thrown ten picks in the past five games and has a total 17 interceptions on the season.
Veteran wide receiver Nate Burleson echoes Bush’s sentiments, saying that it’s on the players to display better discipline on the field.
“I’m never going to point the fingers to the coaches. Maybe that’s just me manning up and saying ‘put it on us, put it on me,'” he said. “When you look at the games and look at the losses, you can almost always point out a few physical errors that we made, whether it is turning over the ball, making the big play on defense in there, special teams breakdown. Those are physical errors on guys with the jerseys on.
“So I’m not going to sit there and say coaching needs to be better or Jim needs to do a better job. It’s plain and simple. It’s plays we need to make as a team and we haven’t made those plays.”
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is reportedly on the hot seat and may be fired in the Lions miss the playoffs, so they’ll need to win out and hope for Green Bay and the Bears to each lose one of their final two games for the Lions to make the postseason.
That’s a lot of pressure on the Lions players, but if they’re seriously taking accountability for their errors and looking to turn it around quickly, then maybe thinks will work out in their favor. If not, the players have no one to blame but themselves.
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