Jauron Will Prepare Team For Fans

Unless the Detroit Lions players, coaching staff and upper management are all completely devoid of modern communication, it's a good bet they are well aware of what has quickly become a national spectacle.

ALLEN PARK -- Unless the Detroit Lions players, coaching staff and upper management are all completely devoid of modern communication, it's a good bet they are well aware of what has quickly become a national spectacle: the ongoing public flogging of the team and, perhaps more ambiguous, the city.

That would include the national touring "FIRE MILLEN" signs (which become increasingly clever by the city).

But while the humor is public, it is hardly refreshing, and fans plan to respond -- perhaps harshly -- during Sunday's home tilt with Cincinnati.

Several groups are even planning an "orange-out" to send a message to GM Matt Millen and ownership. The "orange-out" protest is encouraging attending fans to enter Ford Field displaying proudly their best and, well, brightest orange attire (the Cincinnati Bengals' team colors are orange and black).

It is one of many expected displays of not-so-affection to take place.

Following Wednesday's practice, Lions' interim coach Dick Jauron said he would remind his team of the environment, despite the common perception.

"I don't know that I will, but I may now that you brought it up because it could be an issue; hopefully it won't be," said Jauron. "We have said all along that the fans here, and really throughout the league are really supportive and supportive of this league. These fans, because they are one of the older teams in the league, have supported us for a long time. And, they love the team so when we are not doing well, they are going to let us know and rightly so.

"We are the only people that can stop the negative things, so we have to do that. Maybe I will mention it to them (the players) because I am sure they understand it. We have talked about it before. The only way to stop those kinds of things is to play and perform well for them."

Despite being within a touchdown of Minnesota two weeks ago, the Ford Field crowd scattered the field with a chorus of boos and sarcastic applause -- even occasionally cheering for the Vikings.

And after a frustrating loss to Green Bay on Sunday, the behavior isn't likely to subside -- in fact, it might begin early.

One cure-all, obviously, is a strong performance by the team, but Jauron indicated he isn't necessarily concerned with a fast start.

"I have never said you have to have a good start - you have to play a whole game," said Jauron. "You have to finish well. I would rather finish well than start well. I would rather win it in the end than start well and give it up.

"We just have to play a full game and things will happen in an NFL game. They are good, they will make plays and hopefully we will make plays and you fight for the thing in the end. If we win it in the end, our fans will be happy."

Or just temporarily content.


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