Saturday, April 14, 2012

Nate Burleson says Fairley and Leshoure need to tighten up

With off-season workouts and the NFL draft right around the corner, the Detroit Lions are reeling from off-field distractions. Marijuana arrests to Mikel Leshoure and Nick Fairley to be specific. The arrests gives Lions fans plenty to be nervous about. The Lions look to be headed in the right direction and they turn into the Cincinnati Bengals.

Nate Burleson isn't one to take this lightly. In an interview on the NFL Network Burleson let it be known that he plans having a talk with the youngsters to let them know that kind of behavior won't be tolerated.

“I’m just going to say tighten up,” Burleson said during an appearance on "Total Access" Thursday on NFL Network. “We’ve done too much to get to where we’re at. There’s been a black cloud hanging over Detroit for so long, so for us to go from 6-10 to 10-6 and feel like we’re heading in the right direction and just a few mistakes happen, we’ve got to tell the young guys to get it together.

“But here’s the thing, I really believe that, in the analogy of football, you’ve got to fumble in order to have great ball security. So in life, these guys got to stumble a little bit. And you know as a young guy in the league, you’re going to make those mistakes and hopefully this is just one thing that happens and doesn’t happen again for a lot of these guys.”  

Fairley and Leshoure weren't the only ones to run afoul of the law. Ndamukong Suh had his episode of the "Fast and the Furious", and fellow 2011 rookie Johnny Culbreath  paid a fine after being arrested for possession of the drug in a South Carolina hotel in January.

“I’m a little bit different, I don’t want to put people on blast in front of the team,” Burleson said. “Sometimes you’re going to need to do that. Or a certain guy, certain situations, they need to feel that embarrassment of everybody looking down on them. But some of these guys that we saw on the board, these are good young men and I know that they’re passionate about being professional athletes, it’s just that they make mistakes.”

“Obviously, when you talk to a young guy and he doesn’t listen, the old-school method is physical confrontation,” Burleson said. “I came (into the NFL in) ‘03 and some of these vets, they put your hands on you before they let you damage what they helped build. But I don’t think we’re going to get to that. And also coaches might say we’re just going to sit the guy down, we’re going to take the guy away from him and then see how he responds.”

At this point in the team's development, the Lions don't need players to be acting like hooligans off the field.

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