The Detroit Lions wrapped up their offseason program with yesterday’s close of minicamp. Players can still use team facilities if they would like, but the team is officially on summer break for the next five to six weeks. The next time the team formally assembles it will be for the start of training camp.
This marks an important time for the Lions and each player has just one task: staying out of trouble. Dave Birkett had a little about Jim Schwartz’s closing remarks to his team yesterday:
But when Jim Schwartz said good-bye to his players Thursday, very little of his message was a reminder to stay trouble-free.
“It was more about where you guys are as a team, I like your attitude,” receiver Nate Burleson said. “I think he was just saying nobody’s running around here cocky, but we’re not feeling sorry for ourselves, either. We’re working in a very highly competitive atmosphere, and he loves what he’s seeing.”
Staying out of trouble may not have been Schwartz’s main message, but ‘very little’ is still some.
At this point Schwartz may not even need to say much. Some players, Stephen Tulloch in particular, admitted that the offseason shenanigans of a year ago played a part in the team’s disappointing 2012 season. It would seem likely team leaders would be intent on delivering the message that a repeat is not acceptable.
Perhaps Nick Fairley had some words of advice for his younger teammates. Fairley experienced his fair share of trouble but has since been a good citizen, showing more maturity on and off the field. I would bet Fairley wishes he did a few things differently earlier in his career and would like to see others avoid his mistakes.
The NFL is king of the news cycle, but for the next month and a half, the Detroit Lions will look to stay out of the news.