The last-place Detroit Lions don't take kindly to criticism, and lashed out at an anonymous rival general manager who called them "overrated in a Pro Football Weekly report.
The story cited the executive specifically mentioned defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril as overhyped players, and said coach Jim Schwartz and general manager Martin Mayhew are "both overrated."
Lions center Dominic Raiola didn't appreciate the comments, telling reporters Tuesday that the remarks were a "coward kind of statement."
"That fires me up. That's taking a shot at the Lions organization. That ain't right. I'm going to say eff 'em. I can't say the word. But I'll say eff 'em," he said, according to Fox Sports Detroit. "If you don't take that personal, you're in the wrong place. (Schwartz and Mayhew) work hard putting the right talent on the field. They bust their ass doing this," he continued. "It's on us to have their back. The best way to have their back is on the field."
The Lions were expected to contenders this season, but are 1-3.
"The one thing that is clear -- they are not as close as people have tried to make it seem," the GM told Pro Football Weekly. "They are a one-dimensional offensive team that if the quarterback (Matthew Stafford) is not on, people are figuring it out. If you take (WR Calvin) Johnson out of the game, who else do they have that can beat you?
"They are not a team that I think is ready. If I am going there to take over the job, I am not thinking that is a quick fix."
Avril isn't concerned with what people think.
"Who cares?" he said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "It's all about us going out and performing and trying to prove people wrong as we've been trying to do since this group of guys have come together. Us within the locker room know what we have, it's just all about making the rest of the country and the league know what's going on over here."