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Lions improving on-, off-field discipline?

8/4/2014

The biggest criticism of the Detroit Lions during Jim Schwartz' time as head coach was a lack of discipline on and off the field. That's something that new coach Jim Caldwell is addressing head on.

Per John Katzenstein of the Detroit News, Caldwell has been showing "Lions players clips of people related to sports who find trouble away from the field." Caldwell considers it to be "preventive medicine."

“We use those as examples to keep reminding them, hey, we’ve got to make good choices,” Caldwell said. “These are the kind of things that could happen. ... What we think happens is those young guys think a little bit more, they examine situations that they may be in and thus maybe it will keep them out of trouble.”

Caldwell also hopes that this way of thinking carries through on the field, too.

“It’s the same thing,” Rashean Mathis said. “I told someone this the other day: If you find someone that’s disciplined off the field, you’re going to find someone who’s disciplined on the field and vice versa.”

The front office has been doing its part, too, by bringing in players who appear less likely to get into off-field incidents.

"Their last two draft classes and free-agent groups have been filled with players of integrity, many of whom lead quiet lives off the field," Katzenstein noted.

"In 2014, Galen Duncan, the Lions’ senior director of player development, watched all of the team’s combine interviews and provided character grades that were included in the draft decision process."

The Lions would be a much more dangerous and steady team if they can cut out the off-field distractions and on-field flubs this season.