ALLEN PARK - The only thing missing in the Lions' locker room now is a sledgehammer.
The rock -- and the attendant message -- is there as a constant reminder from new coach Rod Marinelli and his staff of what they expect of the Lions players.
If the Lions are going to improve on last year's 5-11 record and their five-year record of 21-59, they're going to have to keep pounding the rock.
The rock -- roughly two feet across and a foot thick -- appeared unannounced recently at the team's headquarters in Allen Park. It sits on a blue equipment trunk. On one side of the rock is a blue plaque with the team logo and a reminder: "NOT GOOD ENOUGH."
The Lions players make an occasional wisecrack bout the rock. "That is my mold for my helmet," joked fullback Cory Schlesinger recently after a workout.
But they understand Marinelli's point and they are taking it to heart.
"I think that's kind of what the organization was lacking the last few years," Schlesinger told the Detroit Free Press. "That's a very good visual image of what we need to do as an organization.
"We need to sit there and pound, pound and pound. It's going to take awhile to break that baby but we're going to break that rock, and when we do that, that means we're winning."
The rock is not new to Marinelli. He used a similar ploy -- with good results -- to get the attention of his defensive linemen when he was a position coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"It's just that believe that you've got to keep pounding, that if you believe it, it's going to crack," Marinelli has explained in the past. "On the outside, it looks all the same but, inside, it may be crumbling. So you never know what snap's going to break it, what swing's going to break that rock."