For a decade, the Detroit Lions were the laughing stock of the NFL. Before that they were merely irrelevant. When discussing your glory days means reliving the fifties, people don't get too worked up about your team.
When Martin Mayhew took over as general manager and hired Jim Schwartz as head coach, they decided they wanted to change the culture around the Detroit Lions. They wanted that change to resonate around the league.
Well, the league no longer calls them soft.
Uncontrolled. Undisciplined. Thugs. Dirty. But soft, no.
Following a series of unwise choices both on and off the field, the Lions developed a reputation. Is it true? Is it fair? Are the Lions really a dirty team or are they just aggressive?
Who cares? The fact is that in today's NFL, perception is reality.
When you get flair-ups in OTAs, practices, and meetings, it suddenly becomes national press. People start writing articles such as this one stating that you have great promise if you can manage not to shoot yours...