DETROIT >> It was a preseason loss, but no matter what lens you look through the Detroit Lions looked tired and listless.
That is unacceptable.
“There’s no such thing as tired. We should not be tired for no reason. You’ve got enough time to go home, you’ve got enough time to go to sleep, you’ve got enough time to study, you’ve got time to take care of your body,’’ defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois said after the Lions lost 30-17 to the New York Giants at Ford Field.
It’s not the loss. It’s all about the execution or lack of it.
“There’s no excuses, we have no excuses. We’ve got to come in (Saturday), we’ve got to come together as a group. We’ve got to look in the mirror at ourselves, we’ve got to get this done right,’’ said Francois who was wearing a T-shirt that read “Bad decisions make good stories.”
The veteran, starting his 11th NFL season, was steamed and maybe that’s what this bunch needs after 15 days of training camp.
“You want to execute everything in the preseason … If you don’t do all those things, the season is nothing,’’ Francois said. “We can’t look at the season, the season is too far ahead. What we can control now is how we correct this tape against the Giants.’’
(Photo courtesy of Detroit Lions)
Coach Matt Patricia has been preaching physicality and intensity from Day One and it was clearly not apparent on Friday.
What did he like about the game?
“I’d say for me right now I’m not going to be overly pleased with anything at the current moment. Maybe in a couple days if you ask that question I’ll find something on the tape. Right now it starts with me, I have to coach better and do a better job of getting these guys ready to go,’’ Patricia said.
Five thoughts from the loss:
1. The coach makes no apologies for working the guys hard during training camp, often making them run sprints after a hard practice. “We’re out there trying to get better everyday. The practices are critically important and that’s where we have to make improvements and get better. We’ll be able to do some things in practice that we can’t do in a game. It’s important we get those looks, it’s training camp that’s how it’s supposed to be.’’ The Lions practiced for nearly three hours on Tuesday and more of the same on Wednesday in joint practices with the Giants. That’s a lot of work but no excuse.
2. Patricia thinks they are getting there when it comes to conditioning. “I think overall as a team I’ll say this, I thought from a conditioning level standpoint it didn’t really look like we were tired,’’ Patricia said. “I’ll look at the film and evaluate that. From a conditioning standpoint it looks like we’re moving in the right direction. We’re not there, we haven’t arrived but we’re moving in the right direction.’’
3. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah saw significant time in the first half, after sitting out last week’s game. Looks like he’ll be a good fit in the new defensive scheme which shouldn’t be a surprise. “I obviously noticed him on a couple plays but I’m going to have to look at the tape. It was good from the standpoint of he was out there working hard,’’ Patricia said of Ansah. However, the pass rush which was an issue a week ago did not look like it had improved. None of the Giants quarterbacks were sacked while Lions’ quarterbacks were sacked four times.
4. Patricia wasn’t happy, he hates to lose. But he is not in panic mode. “When you do evaluate your team you never go too far left or right, because you understand it is a constant competition. What you want to do is get to the end of that preseason mode and take a look at the full pie and see what the full picture looks like. It’s too early to go into that mode,’’ Patricia said.
5. Still not too much is known about the run game which has gotten most of the focus since last year’s miserable effort. In the first half the Lions had 10 carries for 23 yards and overall 22 carries for 67 yards. Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah combined for just 13 rushing yards. Ouch. Rookie Kerryon Johnson showed a little sizzle in the Week 1 preseason loss at the Raiders but on Friday had just four carries for nine yards. LeGarrette Blount got most of his work in the second half. He was the Lions’ leading rusher with 11 carries for 32 yards.