Originally written on Down and Distance  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Dominic Raiola, a longtime Detroit Lion, is sure that the morale of the team has changed for the better. (Credit: US Presswire) The Detroit Lions have been one of the least successful teams in the NFL of the past decade. Last season brought the start of a resurgence and a playoff berth, signaling a change in the football culture of the city of Detroit. Entering this season, the Lions were looking to take a run at the Packers as the best team in the NFC North. Now, the Lions find themselves looking up not only at the Packers, but also the Vikings and the Bears, making them the current bottom feeders of the NFC North. The Lions are accustomed to being on the bottom half of the NFC North, as they finished last or second-last in the division every season since the 2002 realignment, except for last year. Center Dominic Raiola, a member of the Lions since 2001, remains adamant that the negative attitude that the team carried for the greater part of a decade has been shed, and the team is still looking to make strides in the division. “No, I don’t think so,” Raiola said of the Lions going in the tank this season. “I think before Jim got here, those guys are out of here. And if they are [around], they’ll be gone soon. I don’t think we need to worry about guys packing it up early or giving up or quitting on the team, because that’s not here anymore.” “I’m glad those guys aren’t here anymore because the negativity is contagious and it spreads like a fire, because you’ve got one guy saying it, then a veteran thinks it,” he said. “We don’t have guys like that. We’ve got good, solid veteran workers that like to work, guys that are going to be here for a long time. Our stars are going to be here for a long time. And I think that’s the core of our team, so I don’t think there’s any chance of that happening. I know it’s not going to happen.” The Lions had been one of the least respected teams in the league in the 2000′s, largely due to the number of failed high draft picks under then-GM Matt Millen and the 0-16 season of 2008. But player morale was extremely low and there was never much hope that the team would turn around. Perhaps questions of the team are rising following an offseason with a high number of player arrests, but surely that is an issue coach Jim Schwartz will not tolerate long-term. If the Lions want to make the most out of this season, players other than Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson will need to emerge as big time playmakers. The team has to win its divisional games, as they have already surrendered losses to Minnesota and Chicago. But one thing is for sure, and that is that the Lions have the confidence that they will right the ship once again. Follow us on Twitter @DownandDistance Down and Distance Columnist - Joe Ray @jpray_SKThe post Lions’ negative teammates “aren’t here anymore” appeared first on DOWN & DISTANCE.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Matt Barnes not happy with NBA for $25,000 fine

Brandon Browner: 'No hard feelings' with Sherman, Thomas

Gronk reads erotica, sings Katy Perry at SB Media Day

Governor donates $10K to UNM hoops star’s cancer charity

U.S. Soccer: Hope Solo needs to do 'number of things' to return

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

K.J. Wright: Targeting injured players 'unacceptable'

Five reasons the Patriots will win the Super Bowl

Five reasons the Seahawks will win the Super Bowl

Bill Simmons fires a shot at ESPN colleague Ray Lewis

Which teams are most squarely on the bubble?

Tiger Woods: 'There was blood everywhere' after tooth incident

Top storylines for the Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Pacquiao, Mayweather meet at halftime of Heat game

One of Tom Brady's ‘treats’ is avocado ice cream

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

Re-ranking the Top 25: exposing the biggest flaws

Tiger on wearing mask: ‘Not a lot of brown dudes at ski races’

Putting the Cleveland Cavaliers’ pieces together

Brodeur to retire immediately and join Blues front office

Michael Bennett talks about sex superstition, calls reporter gay

As Patriots prepare, it's easy to forget about Hernandez

Marcus Mariota's younger brother will play at Oregon

Marshawn Lynch on Media Day: 'I'm here so I won't get fined'

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

Barnes unhappy with NBA over fine

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

Re-ranking the Top 25: exposing the biggest flaws

Putting the Cavs’ pieces together

Super Bowl XLIX: Key people to know

Ranking all 48 Super Bowls

Bill Simmons fires a shot at Ray Lewis

NFL pushing CFP to change schedule

Can Yanks not pay A-Rod his bonuses?

Petition started to remove Pats from SB

On John Wall's adidas J Wall 1 NYC All-Star Edition

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.