The Detroit Lions suffered through an extremely disappointing 2012 NFL season. After making a playoff appearance in 2011, the Lions went just 4-12 and left many scratching their heads as to why.
One of the issues with the team was discipline, and many point the finger at head coach Jim Schwartz for that. But the Lions also lack a player who is a true leader. General Manager Martin Mayhew addressed that while talking with Mlive.com
“That was tested last year in a big way because of [safety Louis] Delmas being injured and not on the practice field,” Mayhew said. “You guys know how much energy he brings to practice, and the tempo he played with, and he was sorely missed. Not just the games he missed, but also the practices. He barely practiced last year.”
Mayhew made it clear that leadership is a must for next season.
“That is an area that we need younger players who are developing with us to take more of a leadership role, but there also can be some opportunities that we may need to bring in some guys that have some of those qualities,” Mayhew said.
“Part of developing as a player is not just developing on the field, but it’s developing leadership, locker room, off-the-field, and you start to feel a little bit more comfortable every year. We need some guys to step up that way, also.”
While I can appreciate Mayhew saying young players need to step up, it is clear that a strong veteran leaded and voice is needed in the locker room.
He would be smart to try to fill that void this off-season.