In the same week that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin received one of the largest fines in NFL history for attempting to slow down the Baltimore Ravens’ Jacoby Jones on the field, the Detroit Lions rack up three separate fines from the Thanksgiving Day game against the Green Bay Packers. They are certainly not to the degree of Tomlin’s fine, which is likely why nobody is really talking about them, but they are still significant. Especially given that there were three fines to three different players from the Lions.
The largest fine was dished out to interception factory DeAndre Levy, who received a $15,750 fine for hitting the Packers’ Ryan Taylor with his shoulder into Taylor’s head. Levy was quoted in the Detroit News saying “it’s a joke, man. The NFL’s becoming a joke with some of these calls.” As someone who strongly believes that the deterioration in the defensive prowess of NFL teams is based on much more than stricter rules, and a lot more on poor fundamentals and cultural trends, I still think the fines being handed out seem a bit arbitrary.
The Lions have been known over the last few seasons as one of the most undisciplined, most penalized and dirtiest teams in the league. So part of me thinks the officials handing out the fines to the Lions players may have been a little biased. It’s sort of like how some players in the NBA get quicker technical fouls called because the referees are expecting it, listening a bit more carefully, and looking to control the situation faster.
That being said, with the Detroit Lions’ Glover Quinn and Kris Durham each receiving $7,875 fines in addition to Levy’s fine, there has to be some responsibility taken by the players and the coaches on the sideline. Not only do these plays cost money to the individual players, but they cost crucial yards on the field. With the playoffs coming up, and the referees and the league seemingly keeping a close eye on the Lions, there needs to be a deeper focus on disciplined play over the course of the next few weeks.