BBAO: Lions players to get another chance

April, 10, 2012
4/10/12
7:15
AM ET
We're Black and Blue All Over:

Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand spoke extensively during a Monday radio interview about three members of the 2011 draft class who have experienced legal entanglements related to marijuana in the past three months. Lewand indicated that all three -- running back Mikel Leshoure, defensive tackle Nick Fairley and offensive lineman Johnny Culbreath -- will be given opportunities to repair their standing with the franchise.

Via the Lions' website, Lewand said: "We expressed disappointment last week and I continue to express disappointment that guys put themselves in the position where they have to have an unpleasant interaction with law enforcement. That is something that should be avoided. But as we all know from life's experiences, it happens, people make mistakes, and you want to give guys opportunities to correct those mistakes, learn from them and move forward."

That's only fair, for as Lewand himself noted, the organization gave him a similar opportunity after a 2010 drunken driving arrest. The NFL suspended him 30 days and fined him $100,000 but Lewand retained his post atop the Lions' front office.

"You are held to a high standard," Lewand said. "I know that firsthand and I've learned that lesson myself. That's a lesson we all have to learn and we have to take it to heart when that adversity is there and when we make mistakes we've got to learn from them and grow as human beings."

Continuing around the NFC North:
  • Lions defensive end Cliff Avril pledged to be ready for the season whether or not he participates in the Lions' offseason workouts, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune wonders if the Chicago Bears will limit Devin Hester to punt returns only, and no kickoffs, in 2012.
  • Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is scheduled to receive the team's Ed Block Courage Award on Tuesday, notes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
  • Bears running back Kahlil Bell hasn't signed his restricted free-agent tender but will sign an injury waiver in order to participate in the team's offseason workout program, McClure writes for the Tribune.
  • The Green Bay Packers are lamenting the shortened offseason program, as mandated by the NFL's agreement with the NFL Players Association. Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette explains.
  • Duane Dudek of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviews Packers receiver Donald Driver's latest performance on "Dancing With the Stars."
  • Michael Lombardi of NFL.com takes an executive's look at the Minnesota Vikings' myriad roster holes. Lombardi: "With such a large number of concerns, though, it's easy to see why [general manager Rick] Spielman would make the third pick available. The Vikings are not a few players away from competing. Spielman, who was promoted to general manager in January, must recognize this is not a one-year fixer-upper. He has to have a two-year plan to patch up the team's numerous holes. He must take a broad look at the talent pool in the next two years -- both in the draft and in free agency -- and then decide where the answers might come from."
  • The Minneapolis City Council will host a stadium hearing on April 24 that opponents appear to be gearing up for, according to Eric Roper of the Star Tribune.

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