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