Detroit Lions safety defends coaches: ‘We’re the ones getting paid millions’

Detroit Free Press

Carlos Monarrez
 
| Detroit Free Press

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Detroit Lions safety Duron Harmon had strong words for his teammates and said the team’s defensive struggles were the fault of players and not coaches.

A day after the Lions allowed the New Orleans Saints to score 35 unanswered points in a 35-29 loss, Harmon spoke with reporters and said players needed some introspection in order to play better.

“We’ve got to be honest with ourselves,” Harmon told reporters Monday “We’re not playing the way that we need to play. And it’s not on coaching — it’s on us as individuals, as players. We’re the ones getting paid millions of dollars to play football.

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“Like you’ve got to think about that. We’re paid millions of dollars to play football, to play at a high level. And if you’re not playing at a high level, you’re not doing your job. And we have to have more accountability to play better football, especially in got-to-have-it situations.”

Harmon pointed to the Saints converting on some third-and-long situations as an example. The Saints converted 71% of their third downs Sunday.

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“It’s just consistency, consistency with doing our job,” Harmon said. “We do it good one play and then it’s not as good the next play, going back and forth. But for us to be the team we want to be, to be as good as we want to be — we have the talent, but it’s being consistent, doing your job. Not nobody else’s job, your job. Doing your job consistently and the rest will take care of itself.

“But as far my state of mind, I’m pissed off that we can’t play this week. I’m heading into the bye this week. I’m upset because I want to get back out there. I want to fix it. I want to be better and I know the guys in this locker room want to be better, too.”

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Detroit Lions’ Matt Patricia explains ‘a lot of work to do’ quote

Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia said his general philosophy in coaching involves the consistent pursuit of hard work to better a franchise.

Harmon said players on defense haven’t always trusted each other “at certain points” to be in the right position, which has led to players overcompensating. Harmon, who was acquired in trade with New England in March in part because of his leadership skills, said he plans to help instill that trust in his teammates.

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“I think we have to trust each other and I think the only way that you can trust each other is to continue to do everything the right way each and every day,” he said. “Play with this technique every day. Play with this leverage on this call every day. If you’re supposed to be in the middle of the field, be in the middle of the field. If you’re supposed to in half, be in half.

“That’s what it comes down to: consistency. And that’s what we’re working towards. Like I said, as a captain, as a leader, that’s what I have to demand out of people. And that’s what I will do.”

Contact Carlos Monarrez at cmonarrez@freepress.com and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.

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