Players: The fault isn't on Marinelli

Lions players understood exactly what head coach Rod Marinelli was doing by taking the blame for the 34-7 loss to the Chicago Bears, dropping them to 0-2 for their game Sunday against the equally winless Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. But that doesn't necessarily mean they agree with him. More inside, including injury report.

Coach Rod Marinelli was willing to take the responsibility; in fact, Marinelli insisted on taking responsibility for the Lions' second loss of the season.

"It's on me," Marinelli said. "I believed we had really explained it to them well. Obviously, I've got to do better. I have to do better, our staff has to do better.

"It's me. I just believe myself that I have the ability to get these guys to really go and really believe in it and be physical. I believe I know how to do that. And I failed this week, I failed in the preparation so I'll take the bullet right in the head."

The players understood exactly what Marinelli was doing by taking the blame for the 34-7 loss to the Chicago Bears, dropping them to 0-2 for their game Sunday against the equally winless Green Bay Packers at Ford Field.

"That's his job to take the loss," said wide receiver Roy Williams. "That's what he gets paid for but it's not his fault, nowhere close to his fault. He's not putting the pads on, he's not catching the ball, he's not blocking nobody. He's wishing he could but he's not doing it."

Cornerback Dre' Bly agreed with Williams, saying the Lions' players know exactly who is responsible for the subpar performance that has to be corrected.

"Coaches can't take the blame," Bly said. "The coaches have done everything they can do to prepare us ... and we have to be held accountable also. We didn't come out ready. We were flat in all phases and they basically did whatever they wanted to do."

Since the day last winter Marinelli has preached the necessity of being accountable and he insists that it starts with himself. He felt after a hard-fought 9-6 loss to Seattle in the season opener that the Lions could correct their mistakes and play better against the Bears.

"I'm disappointed in myself for not getting it corrected," he said. "I think it's coaching. That's why they fire coaches, not players. If I try to put it off on the players, that's inexcusable."

PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES

  • LB Alex Lewis suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee early in the first quarter of the 34-7 loss to Chicago. Coach Rod Marinelli said his return will be listed as day-to-day. Lewis was probably the Lions' best linebacker in the opening game, combining speed and athletic ability with good tackling.
  • SS Kenoy Kennedy suffered a foot injury in the Lions' 34-7 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday but coach Rod Marinelli says his return will be listed as day-to-day, rather than week-to-week. It is expected second-round draft pick Daniel Bullocks will fill in for him if he is unable to start Sunday against Green Bay.
  • S Jon McGraw suffered a concussion but it is not believed to be especially serious. Coach Rod Marinelli indicated McGraw's return will be listed as day-to-day.
  • WR Mike Furrey got his first starting assignment for the Lions in the 34-7 loss to Chicago on Sunday. Furrey, who had five receptions for 55 yards in the season opener a week ago, replaced Corey Bradford in the starting lineup and responded with another six receptions for 67 yards. Furrey and RB Kevin Jones are tied for the team lead in receptions after two games with 11 each and Furrey leads the team in receiving yards with 122.
  • TE Casey FitzSimmons, who suffered a broken wrist in the opening preseason game and is expecting to play in his first regular season game either Sunday against Green Bay or the following week at St. Louis, has signed a four-year contract extension with the Lions. FitzSimmons originally made the team as an undrafted free agent in 2003, primarily as a special teams player but he was the starting TE before the injury this summer.

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