By Ashley Dunkak

CBS DETROIT – Former first-round pick Lawrence Jackson, a defensive end who played for the Detroit Lions from 2010 to 2012, called into the Stoney and Bill Show on 97.1 The Ticket on Tuesday to chime in on a discussion about superheroes. While on the phone, he shared some insight into why he thinks the Lions have flourished so far this season.

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“When I was out there, I saw the biggest thing being the coaching staff and the lack of credibility, the lack of leadership, inability to get players to play for [former head coach] Jim [Schwartz],” Jackson said. “Not disdain … just not a lot of respect for who we were playing for, and I think that showed up on the field.

“The guys out there today, the defense is playing well, [quarterback Matthew] Stafford is still developing but he’s doing well without Calvin Johnson … Some of [general manager Martin] Mayhew’s comments about the guys putting in more effort and different things like that, it’s definitely a better situation for the guys to be in as a whole.”

Another Lion who played under Schwartz, defensive tackle Andre Fluellen, returned to the team this week after Detroit reached out to him to fill the void created by a knee injury to defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who is expected to miss at least a month.

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Fluellen has played most of his career in Detroit, including 13 or more games in 2013, 2011, 2010 and 2009. Like many players, he noted a change in the environment of the organization and spoke highly of new head coach Jim Caldwell.

“It’s different,” Fluellen said Monday afternoon. “It’s just a new direction that I can see. Everybody’s a little more together, it seems like. You can tell he’s really a leader, and he’s a person everybody wants to follow, so I’m not saying anybody else isn’t, but at the same time, his leadership qualities – A-plus.

“It’s just the little silly stuff in terms of d-line messing with wide receivers, just playing jokes on them, or cornerbacks playing jokes on the o-line or stuff like that,” Fluellen added. “That’s a good thing where it’s not just individual units but it’s an actual team within those units.”


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