Kitna not backing down from comments

Lions quarterback Jon Kitna has made comments that have riled up both the Dallas and Detroit locker rooms this week, with the teams meeting Sunday at Ford Field. And he isn't backing down from anything he's said -- regarding either team. Much more inside.

Lions quarterback Jon Kitna has made comments that have riled up both the Dallas and Detroit locker rooms this week, with the teams meeting Sunday at Ford Field.

After the Lions beat the Cowboys in their season finale last season, Kitna went on a Seattle radio station. Kitna criticized the Cowboys -- a couple of them individually -- and they didn't like it.

Cornerback Terence Newman, who Kitna said wasn't as good as Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant, lashed back this week on Sirius NFL Radio.

"Basically, what it boils down to is, you've got to watch what you say," Newman told Sirius NFL Radio. "Your mouth can't write checks that your (butt) can't cash. That's what it comes down to. Everybody's going to see those quotes. He better just hope I don't blitz off the edge because I've got 15, 25, 30 -- however much it would be for a fine. I've got that much for one fine. Revenge will be sweet, definitely."

That's not all.

"I thought about it a little bit after he said it, and then I let it go," Newman said. "Then I see Detroit was on the schedule again, and I was like, 'You know what? We go to Detroit. Kitna said all these things. We've got a chance to kind of put our foot in his butt.' We've got to go out and do it, though. We can't talk about it. We've got to be about it."

The NFL warned Newman that he would be watched carefully Sunday.

Kitna said his comments were lighthearted and seemed more serious when they were printed (and, apparently, posted on a bulletin board).

"It was really nothing that was a personal thing," Kitna said. "It was just, we were trying to have fun on the radio station back there, and unfortunately it has been used in a way like that I was trying to degrade players. And that's really not what it was about."

Kitna isn't worried about reprisals.

"Are they going to want to hit me harder?" Kitna said. "I doubt it. I mean, this is the NFL, and they're good football players. Obviously they don't need any extra motivation. They're 11-1."

Told Newman was willing to take a fine to hit him, Kitna said: "That's all right. I'll take the 15 yards."

After the Lions' loss Sunday at Minnesota, Kitna said all his teammates weren't rowing in the same direction. Some of his teammates didn't seem too happy about it, but he didn't back down.

"Again," Kitna said, "we have to get back into the attitude that we had at the beginning of the season, where we felt like we were just a swarm of bees, a swarm of bees just kind of ..."

Kitna made a whooshing sound.

".. All moving together and ready to attack the same thing. And that's what we have to get back to.

"What's happened to us the last four weeks, it's a natural thing, and you have to fight that. The natural thing is to start trying protect your own reputation and things like that and not necessarily be as sacrificial. We can't allow that to creep in. We have to all be heading in the same direction. That's the only chance we have."

Has it already crept in? Do you have to get rid of it now?

"That goes back to the leadership type of thing," Kitna said. "Sometimes you just have to have the leaders step up and do something that grabs everybody's attention. Again, it's not anything that's said. It's not having a players-only meeting. It's about producing on the football field, in my opinion."

Individual Player Notes

  • DE Ikaika Alama-Francis practiced fully Thursday for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury, but he is still unlikely to be active for Sunday's game against Dallas.
  • CB Fernando Bryant has been playing with an ankle injury and cannot handle a full load of snaps during a game. He rotates with Keith Smith.
  • S Greg Blue might make his Lions debut Sunday with LaMarcus Hicks on injured reserve.
  • WR Shaun McDonald should see a lot of action Sunday. He already is a favorite target of offensive coordinator Mike Martz, and now he is playing the "X" with Roy Williams out with a knee injury.
  • DE Kalimba Edwards not only lost the starting right end job, but his playing time has been cut dramatically.

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