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.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Impacting Health & Well-Being Across Metro Region
“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.READ MORE: Detroit Police Department To Host Drive-Up Candy Stations On Oct. 31 At All Precincts
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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