Yes, that's right -- there's one for all you sabermetricians out there. Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley, selected in the first round (13th overall) of the 2011 NFL draft, has now been arrested twice in the last two months. He'll be arraigned for a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in July, and he was popped on Saturday night in Alabama for allegedly driving under the influence and attempting to elude police. Fairley, an Auburn alum, was arrested both times in Mobile. So ... that's two arrests, and one NFL sack, which came against the New Orleans Saints in a December 4 game the Lions lost, 31-17, in part because they couldn't stop making stupid mistakes on the field.
"We are aware of the reports and are in the process of gathering more information," the Lions said in a Sunday statement regarding Fairley's situation.
There's a lot of talent in Detroit's 2011 draft class, but far more problems to date. Second-round pick Titus Young was recently either asked to stay away from practice after a fracas with veteran safety Louis Delmas, or stayed away of his own volition -- we're still not quite sure how that story's supposed to read. Third-round running back Mikel Leshoure has been cited twice for pot possession, and seventh-round selection Johnny Culbreath was recently arrested in South Carolina for his own alleged dance with the wacky tobaccy.
Around the time Young was asked to stay away (or not) from practice, head coach Jim Schwartz addressed the perception that the Lions are a ship without a captain -- or, for that matter, a rudder.
"We're not playing any games right now," Schwartz said. "I think that a lot of times when people focus on some things about a team you can miss other things that a team does. We'll just keep working harder to do better next time."
Well, between the 2011 class and the various on- and off-field issues that have seemed to plague Ndamukong Suh, there's a problem with discipline on this team -- whether anyone wants to admit it or not. Schwartz is big on the idea of toughness on the field, and that's fine, but his apparent inability to maintain control when he needs to goes very much against type -- he's a Belichick disciple from way back, and he has a degree in economics from Georgetown. Schwartz is a ridiculously smart guy; no doubt there. But if he doesn't get a handle on this team, it won't matter how much talent the Lions have.
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