The Lions embattled secondary, which was undermanned at the season’s onset, was diminished again with the news that S Ko Simpson was placed upon injured reserve.
In particular, even with Simpson’s deficiencies, this is bad news against the Packers. The likelihood of Aaron Rodgers completing deep balls against the Lions safeties surely increases, unless the Lions are able pressure him beforehand.
All that aside for a moment, I am thankful as a Lions fan, that the Lions finally have a head coach in Jim Schwartz who is unafraid to embrace, and attempt to use as a convenient motivational tool, the annual Lions Thanksgiving Day game as the team’s rallying point. As the outcry grows for the game to be rotated throughout all of the league’s members, Schwartz is imploring his charges to recognize the true deep meaning of possessing this game is for the Lions franchise:
“We want the players to understand the significance of this game,” Schwartz said. “This isn’t just another game; this isn’t just one of 16 for us. It’s a tradition and something that we need to embrace and uphold.
“It’s important they understand the significance of the game and the urgency of it.”
as the fans continue to embrace Matthew Stafford, he seems aware of his position as the team’s resident Moses, leading the exodus from NFL failure, to hopefully, NFL respectability.
It’s still uncertain whether rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford (left shoulder) will play in the game, but he wants to become part of the game’s history.
“This game has been going on for such a long time and it’s a great chance to be on national TV and it shows the nation what we’re all about,” he said. “It’s just something you want to keep around — you want to play on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a great opportunity, it’s great fun and it’s awesome to be able to say that you’re a part of two teams that get to do it every year.”
“I’ve watched the Lions on every Thanksgiving since I can remember and watching Barry Sanders hold that turkey leg (as the game’s MVP),” said rookie linebacker Zack Follett, a seventh-round pick. “Not to lie, I’ve kind of had my fantasies during meetings of what I’ve got to do to get that turkey leg. I’m excited.
“There’s such history. It’s been around since 1934 and a lot of history comes with it. The coaches haven’t had to coach effort this week.”
At any rate, no excuses, even if the Lions are a weak, undermanned team, I am really glad that the Lions have a head coach who is unafraid to place some significance on today’s annual game.