What Titus Young Incident Means for Detroit Lions

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2012

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 28:  Titus Young #16 reacts to a late fourth quarter call during the game against the Seattle Seahwaks at Ford Field on October 28, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Seahwaks 28-24.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young has been suspended from the Detroit Lions' Week 12 matchup with the Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football after Lions head coach Jim Schwartz decided his behavior was unacceptable. 

Young was sent home from the Lions facility today after receiving the news that he had been suspended according to the official Lions Twitter account:


Schwartz says Young was sent home from facility today.

— Detroit Lions (@DetroitLionsNFL) November 19, 2012


Young was frustrated with the number of passes thrown his way during the Lions Week 11 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He only caught one pass for 24 yards. The suspension stems primarily from a tantrum Young had on the sidelines during the loss (h/t Rotoworld):

Young was sent home from the Lions' team facility Monday after causing a scene on the sideline in Sunday's loss. Schwartz said Young's behavior has been affecting the team, and that his status will be re-evaluated next week. "It’s your job to make the team happy, it’s not the team’s job to make you happy," Schwartz said. Per beat writer Chris McCosky, Young is being disciplined for "whining, pouting, sulking" about not getting more passes thrown his way. 

It's a predictable turn of events for the second-year wide receiver who has had apparent character issues since his collegiate days. Let's examine how the incident impacts both the team and Schwartz. 


For the Detroit Lions

Young's dismissal is a serious issue for the team in the near future as quarterback Matthew Stafford will be without a special talent against one of the league's better defensive units in Houston. 

While he hasn't seen a lot of balls thrown his way as of late, Young's presence on the field as a deep threat allows him to take the top off the defense as it attempts to prevent the big play, which in turn opens up opportunities for the other receiving options on the field. 

Any time an offense is missing a receiver that averages almost 12 yards per catch, it's a big blow. It hurts even more against an elite defense that only surrenders 214 passing yards per game and 18 points total per game. 

In the long-term it's an even more disheartening turn of events because Young's continued lack of maturity is a serious trend that could result in the organization having to move on from him if it continues. 


For Jim Schwartz

Suspending Young despite heading into a crucial game on prime time is a huge move for Schwartz. He is often criticized for not having control of the locker room and fielding one of the more undisciplined teams in the NFL, but this is a step in the right direction.

Most notably, Schwartz's comments about how no one is above the good of the team is great to hear. He's sending a clear message to the locker room that he is putting his foot down and attempting to end the bad reputation that has haunted his tenure.

For a team that is struggling at the bottom of the NFC North, this is a great move for Schwartz's future. His seat has to be warm considering the lackluster results this year, but a mature move like this may just extend his life with the franchise. 

Young is the latest member of the Lions to have issues, but this time Schwartz has responded in the correct manner.