The Detroit Lions are said to have one of the most dominating and rupturing forces in the NFL in regards to their defensive line. So monstrous, people say. Most of that talking is backed up on paper, and not on the field.
The only thing that gets more monstrous is the anger people harbor towards defensive tackle Nick Fairley‘s lackadaisical and sloppy attitude. Let’s state it, and state it loud: Nick Fairley is a bust. He is. There’s no way around it. Don’t try to coddle him and make petty excuses for the overweight, lazy lineman he is. The truth shows more blatantly than his bulging belly, and his saddened face on the sidelines as he’s benched for such disgusting play and effort.
Respect head coach Jim Caldwell, as he’s instilled accountability — something Detroit’s wild locker room has starved for. He has Fairley playing with the second stringers, claiming that Fairley’s play hasn’t proceeded expectations of he and his staff.
Every year, it’s the same song and routine for Fairley: he starts training camp appearing in a slimmer, healthier shape, and by halfway through it, he puts the weight and sloppiness back on. He doesn’t care. Fairley had character issues coming out college, and they’re still rearing their ugly heads at us now. He doesn’t look like a 13th overall pick; he looks like defensive tackle Shaun Rogers reincarnated: a talented player, too lazy and careless to assemble something special.
Let’s also remember that Fairley was busted for marijuana. A sloppy play and reckless attitude aren’t ingredients for a successful football player.
General Manager Martin Mayhew declined Fariley’s contract options, sending him a message that he’d better get his act together if he wants to stick around. Many thought it’d shock some effort into Fairley; it didn’t. The Lions have received the same, reluctant results.
Fairley has talent, and plays next to one of the most talented defensive tackles in Ndamukong Suh. Yet, his stats are about as average as they come, having racked up just 34 tackles in 2013. Fairley could be such a disruptive entity on the Lions’ line if he applied himself more.
Instead, he’s losing out to a 31-year old veteran in C.J. Mosley, who has been taking his reps and spot in the starting rotation in these preseason games.
What happened to the promising Fairley, the one who chased Drew Brees around in 2011 against a great Saints’ offensive line, during a Suh suspension? Now, all of that seems like a distant memory. In fact, it does a great job at summing up Fairley’s career: there for some moments, completely absent at others.
Everything has been tried for Fairley; fines have been issued, Mayhew’s rejected his deal, and Caldwell and his staff have pushed the tackle. Apparently, motivation is something Fairley has lacked and will continue to permanently. The Lions need to write this off as a bust, and learn from this mistake. A player with character issues is something to avoid; Fairley proves that immensely.
With his attitude, he definitely won’t be on the field. Nick Fairley, you can stay on the bench; your draft status means absolutely nothing anymore. If anything, it carries your reputation to a worse degree.