Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/4/12
So... Has anyone thought of introducing a 28 game season?

How about an extra 10 preseason games? Or maybe a mandatory off-season training program that runs from February to August?

This is not due to a desperate need for content. Its not an attempt to improve the quality of play,either.

No, apparently, some of the younger members of the Detroit Lions have too much time on their hands.

First, Johnny Culbreath got arrested for marijuana possession in January. Mikel Leshoure decided he could do better than that, so he accumulated two arrests for possession in a months time. He then followed it up by deciding not to show up for his arraignment hearing. Now Nick Fairley, apparently disappointed at not having been invited to the party, decided to add a possession arrest of his own.

People can debate all they want about the legalities of marijuana use and whether or not the law should change. At this point it is irrelevant. Marijuana possession is currently illegal throughout the United States. The Detroit Lions need these players. The Detroit Lions signed these players. The Detroit Lions have a right to expect that the players they signed will act responsible enough to allow them the potential of living up to their contracts.

Until the NFL approves work furlows and accepts NFL authorized orange jumpsuits for team uniforms, marijuana possession is unacceptable for a player in the NFL.

While it is highly unlikely that any of the players will serve any jail time, it is equally likely they won't be playing opening day either. That is the issue. It is an example of personal choices hurting the team.

So where do we go from here?

The NFL will make its rulings as will the team itself. But as a whole, players have a tendency to turn a deaf ear to these reprimands. They haven't listened to this point. Why start now?

The time has come for some internal policing from the players.

The strength of a team often can be seen in the strength of its veterans. The veterans control the underlying tones within a locker room as to what kind of conduct is acceptable and what isn't. And younger players tend to respect the veteran voices in the locker room more than the suits upstairs.

This internal voice needs to start inserting itself. Veterans need to pull the rookies aside and let them know exactly where they stand. Football is a sport built on team chemistry. Nothing implodes that chemistry more than destruction from within. Even if the entire world is against you, a team bands together and conquers. But you have a little strife in a locker room and an entire season can crumble. Success or failure starts here.

The NFL will do its dance. The ownership will follow suit.

It doesn't really matter who, but somebody from the inside needs to start busting some heads.





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