|UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. -- In a fight to change the
attitude of the Detroit Lions organization, first-year head coach
Marty Mornhinweg delivered the first blow at the start of an
afternoon training camp session Monday.
Mornhinweg threw his sunglasses on the ground 35 minutes into
the practice at Saginaw Valley State and kicked all of his players
off the field.
"You guys are loafing," Mornhinweg told his team. "I want
everybody to run off the field and (go) back to the locker room."
Mornhinweg stormed off the field, hopped on his Harley-Davidson
motorcycle outside of Wickes Stadium and drove off, leaving the
Lions players scratching their heads and the 3,000 fans in
"I saw his glasses hit the floor and I said 'Uh oh. Somebody
messed up,' " receiver Johnnie Morton said. "I knew he was upset
about something but by the time I figured it out everybody was
leaving and it was too late to get everyone to stay.
"(Lions receiver Herman Moore) and I and a couple of linemen
were saying let's pick it and up start all over again but by that
time, coach had driven away."
All of the commotion was unexpected following the Lions toughest
workout in the morning session, which Mornhinweg called "the best
two-minute drill on offense that I've seen this early in a season
since I began coaching."
Players remained in the locker room following practice, waiting
for the green light to practice again.
"Everybody was sitting around, waiting to see what was going to
happen," linebacker Allen Aldridge said. "Is he for real or are
we getting ready to go back out there. Then a couple of coaches
came in and said `It's official, take your pads off. ...
"I just want to know why. What is the reason why and what can
we do to correct it because he's been on winning organizations for
a long time. Maybe he saw something that we can't see."
Lions president Matt Millen and Mornhinweg have stressed their
concern over the team's attitude. "The new attitude" is the
slogan advertised on television and is a marketing slogan for
Safety Ron Rice said that message has been creeping into the
Lions workouts, especially after Monday.
"The message was definitely sent," Rice said. "Coach
Mornhinweg keep telling us that we've got to go out and practice
hard no matter what the conditions are.
"Sometimes you've got to do whatever you've got do to spread
your message around."|
| More from ESPN...|
Lions coach Marty Mornhinweg explains why he halted Monday's practice session.
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