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Lions Prove That with Stafford & Young, Denial Ain't Just a River in Egypt

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18:  Titus Young #16 of the Detroit Lions catches a 43 yard pass in the second quarter from Matthew Stafford #9 as Brandon Flowers #24 of the Kansas City Chiefs defends at Ford Field on September 18, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images
Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2013

We're officially on Day Three of the Lions' off-season and I'm already disturbed by what I'm hearing coming out of Detroit.

First, head coach Jim Schwartz was quoted by Dave Birkett of the Detroit News yesterday saying that Matthew Stafford doesn't have mechanical problems, he just needs better results.

This has been the same thing he's said all season, while Stafford's completion percentage dropped from 63.5% to 59.8% and his touchdowns fell by more than half.

We talked about this a little in an earlier piece, but his arm angle was consistently lower and severe than in years past.

Something was not right with Stafford and while nobody should be throwing him under the bus, to continually deny there is any possibility of an issue is crazy. He throws off his back foot, his side-arm delivery has become more pronounced and his accuracy is all over the place.

Saying he was throwing to receivers who "were not household names" is deflecting. IS Stafford and elite quarterback? If so, his job is to make those players better.

Anyone outside of Denver and Fantasy Football players know Eric Decker's name?

More worrisome than the continued ignoring of Stafford's issues was the idea Schwartz floated recently to the Detroit News' Josh Katzenstein that Titus Young could be back next year.

How is this even possible? This is a guy whose own teammate ripped him just a few months ago. A guy whose coach said was selfish, and then ripped him again regarding his potential knee surgery.

A guy who intentionally lined up in the wrong spot against the Green Bay Packers because he wasn't getting the ball.

I'm all for giving a guy a few chances but this is ridiculous.

How can a player who caused all of the above walk back into the locker room? How can he ever earn back the trust of the coaches and team?

Of course, the Lions fired their wide receivers coach so there's one less person who might dislike Young in the building.

If one of the concerns is team chemistry, why open this door again?

It's insane.

It's also early, so there is plenty of time and a long way to go before anything firm happens.

However even just three days in, it's a little concerning that as far as the Lions are concerned, when it comes to Stafford and Young, all is well.

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Follow me on Twitter at @andrew_garda.

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