Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell may be trying to set some new standards with his team. At first glance, it appears Caldwell is holding players accountable for themselves, with Nick Fairley being demoted to second team during this week’s practices.
Fairley showed up initially this year 30 pounds lighter than last season. Fairley had offseason sleep apnea surgery and showed signs that the Lions motivational tactic of not picking up his fifth year option seemed to be working. Since then, Fairley has regained most of the weight he had lost and has not shown the kind of progress that Caldwell and the Lions had hoped for.
For now, C. J. Mosley has taken Fairley’s spot on the first team and the reports are that Mosley has been excelling. Mosley spent this offseason working with Calvin Johnson’s personal trainer and the results have been outstanding. Mosley says he’s ready to crack some heads. It will be interesting to see who ends up in the starting lineup in Friday’s preseason game.
Fairley is playing for his next contract and it should be expected to be a motivating factor for him. So far, that hasn’t panned out. If he remains unproductive, Caldwell could make the ultimate decision of releasing Fairley. It would send quite the message to the rest of the team. I very much doubt that the Lions want to start this season with dead weight on the roster and a shake up would definitely send an alert to everyone else on the team. This may be a temporary demotion, but at least it gives everyone something else to talk about besides Ndamukong Suh’s contract.