|Should Berry be cut after latest arrest?|
In 2011, the media had a field day making the Detroit Lions out to be a bunch of undisciplined neanderthals for their penalties on the field. Players were taking swings at other players, stomping on opponents and even shoving refs. For a time last season, the Lions were about as undisciplined a team as I have ever seen. I believe that a discipline athlete will be a disciplined player. I also believe an undisciplined athlete, will be undisciplined on the field as well. Playing disciplined football is a product of players having their emotions under control, and being accountable for their actions. That mind set starts in the players every day life and is carried onto the field. If they are not accountable for their actions in real life, they will not be accountable for what they do on the field either.
The Lions are often an undisciplined bunch on the field. Whether it comes out in players not sticking to their assignments, to letting themselves get carried away in a play, or taking stupid penalties after the play, they are often undisciplined. If the coaches wish to get that under control, they need to start making the players accountable for their actions off the field as well as on the field.
Aaron Berry is supposed to be fighting for a starting position in the upcoming season. He made a mistake and was arrested for a DUI in the off-season, but that is forgivable. He was apologetic (to a point) and made the statement that we should not judge him from that mistake, but from what he does after that. Well, he was arrested again. Only around a month later. It is time to make him accountable for his actions.
If the Detroit Lions do not discipline him hard enough, it will tell the other players, and the fans, that the players do not have to be accountable for their actions. It will be letting them know that they can do what they want and only get what the NFL dishes out to them. It tells them that they do not need to be disciplined and they do not need to respect the team. It will tell the fans that the Lions are not serious about winning. Because to win in the NFL, it takes discipline as well as talent.
Yet if the Lions were to cut Aaron Berry, what would that say? It would make a statement to the rest of the team that they are now responsible for their actions! It would say that the Lions are serious about becoming a great team on the field as well as on paper. It would tell players that they are representatives of the Detroit Lions, not just their own name, and if they want to play for the Lions, they need to show it in their every day life.
So what if Stafford was to get in trouble? Do we cut him too? Absolutely NOT! Call it double standards if you wish, but the fact is, the more you bring to the team, the more valuable you are, and the more they can tolerate insolence. Players like Suh, Stafford and Calvin are mega-stars for this team. They have the talent to win games and more importantly to the front office, they bring in fans. People dont buy tickets to go watch Aaron Berry play. They buy them to watch Stafford and the other stars. If the Lions cut Berry, they send a message and it really doesnt cost them much. Berry is not the talent to shut down passing games. He is not the guy who will make the plays to win games on a consistent basis. He is not bringing fans (and their money) into Ford Field. Cutting Berry does minimal damage to the product we go to see. Yet it sets an example to try and stop this foolishness from continuing. In fact, not cutting Berry might be harmful to ticket sales. Like it or not, there are a lot of fans who will be less likely to go to a game if the Lions lose a couple games and field undisciplined players.
The drop off in talent from Berry to the next CB in line is very little. In fact, it might be none at all because he is only supposed to fight for a starting spot. He might not even be the starter. He does not bring in fans. In other words, Berry is expendable. Those are the players you use to set examples and the Detroit Lions, who continue to have a player arrested at almost one a month, desperately needs to set that example.