In 2011, Detroit players held well-attended workouts during the lockout. They entered the season focused, and after a 5-0 start, the Lions made the playoffs for the first time in a dozen years.
The next offseason wasn't nearly as positive. A number of arrests and off-field problems put the Lions on the defensive. What followed was a 4-12 collapse for what was supposed to be one of the league's top young teams.
''Any time that you take focus away from the game that's coming up, or the process of OTAs, or the process of training camp and the urgency to improve and you divide players' attention, I think it can have an effect. The biggest thing is that it affected the image of the team,'' coach Jim Schwartz said. ''That dye was cast, and it became an item with players and dealing with the media and everything else. That's the unfortunate thing - it just divided the focus of the team.''
Schwartz met with reporters for about a half-hour Monday, a day after his team finished the season ...